Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hub & Spoke schools - Govt schools kill Govt schools-- not the unaided CBSE and ICSE schools alone

Often every one from the teachers to the society criticizes the Govt decision to allow more private schools in the unaided sector and this is attributed as one of the main reasons for the  down fall of the Govt and aided schools. The reduction in population growth rate is also attributed as another reason. These two alone can be treated as the main reason. I have a different theory regarding schools becoming uneconomic. Thiruvananthapuram city has - Cotton Hill and

Manacaud - both govt girls Higher Secondary schools - schools faring really well. Cotton Hill has more than 6000 students and Manacaud has around 3000. At the same time there are 30 schools in the city, which are having less than or around 100 students on the verge of closure. The Jagathy High School, just a km away from Cotton hill, only 58 students.

 The parents of the students who are sending children to the the Cotton Hill or Manacaud Govt girls high schools cannot afford to send their children to an unaided school because of the fees there. If they can afford or even interested in doing that, they would have done that. Most of them are so  poor and they continue to send their children to govt or aided schools, since education is free. But having left with this as the only option, and since they want their children to get better education, they sent them to Cotton Hill or Mancaud , which has better standards than the other 30 schools in the city. When all the students in a particular catchment area move towards one or two schools, it is natural that other schools will have only lesser students and become uneconomic. In such uneconomic schools , there are only those students, whose parents do not want to take pains to send them to the two  prestigious govt schools--- may be because, they cannot travel longer distance or they may be least bothered or even illiterate or socially backward enough to bother or may be due to other reasons , which we will have to study. 

The Cotton Hill or Manacuad has a PTR of 1 :45 where as Attakulangara has 15 teachers and 64 students -- PTR 1:4. If the excess teachers from Attakulangara and other city schools are brought to Cotton Hill, then the PTR of that school could be reduced to say 1:40 or 1:30 - and we could provide better care and education at Cotton Hill .

This could be easily achieved through grouping of schools under a Hub-and- spoke arrangement. We  need to have feeder schools for Cotton Hill and Manacuad - My suggestion is to have Pre-primary section exclusively in one school (it may some times be a High school or UP school but converted as pre-primary school),  LP in another nearby and UP in another near by school. Cotton hill will have only HS and HSS and it along with Manacaud will absorb all the girl students going to HS and HSS classes from Trivandrum City- thus  a Hub and Spoke arrangement can be established. The Hub school will manage the spoke schools also, through an academic council , consisting of HMs and also PTA + Local LSG representatives of all the hub & spoke schools  . The result will be that four schools will benefit from the good management practices of Cotton Hill school. Only in remote places, schools from - 2 to +2 will have to be set up - all under one roof. In short, what the education department is trying is to raise the standards of education in all the schools using the best management practices of well run schools.  

One disadvantage of this proposal is that a student from Karamana or Peroorkada will have to travel to Cotton Hill, which can be addressed by sending more buses of Cotton hill to that area (which they already do) , and travel can be made free or subsidized with the financial assistance of Local self Governments. The department  is also thinking  of a fleet of school buses from a common pool will pick and drop students for the group of schools. This could be implemented easily if the parent teachers associations as well as local self governments also contribute towards the expenses. 


  1. Being a govt school teacher,I agree with your views in this post. I look forward to you for your active action for saving govt schools...

  2. എനിക്ക് ഈ ഫീഡര്‍ കണ്‍സെപ്റ്റിനോട് യോജിക്കാനാവുന്നില്ല,കുട്ടികളുടെ വദ്യാഭ്യാസം ഇപ്പോള്‍ രക്ഷിതാക്കളുടെ വലിയ തലവേദനയാണ്. രാവിലെ 7 മുതല്‍ 9 മണിവരെയും, വൈകുന്നേരം 3 മുതല്‍ 6 വരെയും ഉള്ള സമയത്ത് അച്ഛനോ അമ്മയോ റോഡില്‍ നിന്ന് കുട്ടിയെ ബസില്‍ കേറ്റിവിടുന്നതും കൂട്ടികൊണ്ട് വരുന്നതുമായി അവര്‍ അണ്‍പ്രൊഡക്ടീവ് ആയ കാണാ തൊഴിലിലാണ്.ഞാന്‍ ദിവസവും ഇത് കാണുന്ന ഒരാളാണ്.
    അങ്ങനെ ഇരിക്കെ ഇനിയും സ്കൂളുകള്‍ അകലത്തേക്ക് പോവുന്നത് വീണ്ടും കുറേ രക്ഷിതാക്കളെ അവരുടെ തൊഴില്‍ നഷ്ടപ്പെടാന്‍ ഇടവരുത്തും.
    അതിന് പകരം ചെറിയ കോട്ടന്‍ ഹില്ലുകള്‍ ഉണ്ടാവുകയാണ് വേണ്ട്. എല്ലാ സ്കൂളുകളും ഹൈസ്കൂളുകളെങ്കിലുമായി അപ്ഗ്രേഡ് ചെയ്യുന്നതിനെ കുറിച്ച് ചിന്തിക്കൂ.അതിനായി നമുക്ക് ആഴശ്യമെങ്കില്‍ അധ്യാപകരെ നമുക്ക് ക്ലസ്റ്ററുകള്‍ക്ക് കീഴെ കൊണ്ടുവരുന്ന കാര്യം പരിഗണിക്കാം.
    പുറത്ത് നിരവധിയായ വിദഗ്ധര്‍ സ്കൂള്‍ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട അക്കാദമിക കാര്യങ്ങളില്‍ സഹായിക്കാന്‍ തയ്യാറാണെങ്കിലും അത് ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്താന്‍ നമ്മുക്ക് സാധിക്കുന്നില്ല.
    പൊതുബോധനം എന്നൊരു കാര്യം സാധിക്കുന്നില്ല...

  3. Education is closely linked with social structure of the people living around the Institution. Kerala is a strong family based society. Having different levels -Primary, UP & Secondary school may not be a good suggestion considering the social fabric of Kerala.

  4. Respected sir,
    one thing to be brought to notice is that our state does not have isolated villages or towns as in the case of other states around us.Even now children frm perurkada and karamana are travelling to cotton hill and even bus facilities are available. thinks some structured programmes have to be introduced

  5. Your views are correct but closing a school especially a government school is almost impossible in kerala due to social regional and political reasons.If government take sucha decision lots of criticism and agitations happen and political leadership not ready to take such a risk.

  6. A humble disagreement. Sir, your theory is a weak one. Most of our schools are situated beside busy roads. A diligent parent will not nowadays let their child(children are a rarity now) walk to the nearby LP school crossing these roads. So they seek the option of school buses. unfortunately, our Govt. schools are not adapted themselves to address this issue. In fact, smaller schools are incapable of buying buses for their purpose. Note that those who have this facility are not deficient of pupils.(Manacaud LPS, Cotton Hill etc. are examples). As children start learning in unaided schools because of the advantage of comfortable conveyance, this is being continued in higher classes.
    Reason No.2- The majority of our teachers send their children to unaided schools. This action gives a message to the public that unaided schools are better than their schools.

  7. Sir, good suggestion, one more thing is also be possible.E.classrooms, with expert teachers taking class from one point example from cotton hill.Then the student from perurkada will also get the same benefit..Then students rush towards cotton hill, st.marys or manacaude will not happen and restrict pupils admission to their areas only.Do not admit students from vazhayila in cottonhill , they will automatically gets admission in perukada. Give equal chances to all schools, with equal number of students and Teachers is the real solution.

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