A three-year project has been started by Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST) aiming to improve the educational and living standards of Scheduled Caste students studying in Model Residential Schools (MRS) in the state.
The project, funded by the Ministry for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes and supported by the Education Department, is the first of its kind started by the state.
In line with the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in the country, MRS were designed to provide quality education for children belonging to SC/ST and below poverty line families.
“The aim was lost midway when those Model Residential Schools failed to produce not even a single achiever,” said CREST Associate Programme Coordinator Vinod Krishnan.
“Nine schools were selected from the state and personality development classes are being given to them, by including 60 days extra classes, complementing the syllabus,” he added.
The selected model residential schools are in Punnapra (Alappuzha), Peermade (Idukki), Keezhmad, Aluva (Ernakulam), Vadakkanchery and Chelakkara (both in Thrissur), Thrithala and Kuzhalmannam (both in Palakkad), Ullyeri (Kozhikode) and Udinoor (Kasargod).
The current MRS in Kozhikode district is functioning in a rented building. Most of the other Model Residential Schools do not have staff quarters and those with quarters, do not have primary facilities like water connection. So, teachers do not prefer to stay there.
Week-long workshops are planned for each schools in the first phase.
Eminent scholars will interact with the students and instill in them confidence. Instead of getting secluded from the society, they will be creatively motivated to succeed in life.
To MRS, students are admitted up to class five, on the basis of an entrance examination held in February every year.
Classes will begin in June as in the case of other schools having state syllabus.
Usually the intake preference is for children from SC (60 per cent), and the rest belonging to children from BPL families and ST.