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Failures get priority in this school

While schools check a student?s grades to give him a seat, this school in Ralegaon Siddhi ? a brainchild of activist Anna Hazare ? encourages failures to enroll. Of the 900 students enrolled at Shri Santha Nilobray Vidyalaya, 850 are failures.
By Press Trust of India | None, Ralegaon Siddhi (maharashtra)
PUBLISHED ON APR 19, 2006 11:46 AM IST

While schools check a student’s grades to give him a seat, this school in Ralegaon Siddhi — a brainchild of activist Anna Hazare — encourages failures to enroll. Of the 900 students enrolled at Shri Santha Nilobray Vidyalaya, 850 are failures.

Interestingly, after repeatedly failing in other schools, students here are passing out with flying colours. Says Hazare, “Failure should not be a stigma for a child. The same student, who fails in other schools, succeeds here with good marks because we provide a conducive environment to utilise the talent.”

Sixty-eight-year-old Hazare, who believes that every child is born with certain potential, says, “If that potential is undermined, the child loses direction and fails to perform.”

Students proudly narrate their success stories. “I had failed twice. I have been here for the last two years, and have been getting over 60 per cent marks. I hope I will do well in the board exams too,” beams Arvde Sagar, a Class IX student.

The school, started in 1971, is affiliated to Pune Secondary Board. The school’s basic principles — dignity of labour, character, love for nation and knowledge — aim at the overall development of students.

“Education must shape the lives of young people and instill in them humanitarian values, so that they contribute towards the development and welfare of society,” adds Hazare.

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