If you were a parent who had to choose between sending your child to a government or a private school, what would you choose?
While most of us would enrol our kids to private schools, a World Bank employee from Chennai shifted his son from a reputed private English Medium school to study in a government primary school.
But that isn’t what this story is about.
It is the story of how, this very World bank employee and parent to a Grade 2 student, shelled money out of his own pocket to facelift the government-run primary school in Mugalivakkam.
It was only a few months ago that Magendran Pandian visited the school on his usual duty to drop his son at the school when he noticed the teachers of Grade 1 evacuating kids from their usual classroom to move them to another room.
The heavy rains had taken a toll on the old building. Water started leaking from the ceiling, and huge cracks marred the side walls.
Moved by the inconvenience the teachers and students were going through to conduct daily classes, Magendran decided to take the matter into his own hands. He sought permission from the headmistress to repair the building with his own money.
Overwhelmed by the initiative, the headmistress and higher-ups agreed. Taking over ten days and spending over Rs 38,000, Magendran in association with some parents and teachers transformed the building into a more safer place for the students.
While Magendran grew up studying in an English-medium school, his rationale behind shifting his son to a government primary school was to let the Class 2 boy learn the basics in a simple way.
Speaking to the Times of India, Magendran said, he believed that the syllabus and style of teaching at government schools made children self-sufficient and independent in life.
“Lack of basic amenities is the biggest problem in these schools. I wanted to take the initiative in this mainly because I got tremendous support from the headmistress and teachers in the school. A parent also contributed Rs 10,000 to the repair work. I am glad that it worked out well,” Magendran told TOI.
The headmistress lauded Magendran’s contribution to the primary school with a strength of 230 students, saying “If parents come forward and do such minor repair works, it will help a lot. I am very happy that Pandian came forward and did a great job. It will definitely support schools like this where we need to write to the government for everything. I wish more parents could come forward and do such great works in other government-run schools that lack basic amenities.”