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250 govt schools to be upgraded this year

THE State government recently passed an order to upgrade neatly 250 schools across Tamil Nadu. Ac-cording to G.O. Na 174,150 middle schools and 100 high schools in the State would be upgraded to high and higher secondary schools respectively. In Tiruchy, nine Panchayat Union Middle Schools and two government high schools would be up-graded in this academic year. Over 36,930 school dropouts have been identified and follow-up action would be initiated to bring the students back to school, the G.O. added. Commenting on the development, R Bhuvaneswari, headmistress in Panchayat Union Middle School at Edamalaipatti Pudur in Manigandam, said, "This move would benefit most Class VIII stu-dents as many have discontinued studies because there was no government schools offering higher education in the region and private schools were located faraway". School officials have started calling up parents of students urging them to re-admit their children to the Edamalaipatti school.

 With over 16,000 people living in Manigandam, most families are in the below poverty line category and the school was providing free education for students of classes Ito VIII. Now, a fresh set of students woud be admilted to Class DC. Christin Jenita, a parent, said that both her children were studying in the school and earlier she used to be worried they would have to travel a great distance for higher education. "Upgrading the school will help many students get free education within the locality;" a joyous Jenita said. Another parent, N Manivannan, said the middle school had well-trained teaching staff and the wel-come move by the government will make this school on par with any private school in the district. H Pushpalatha, a teacher, said, "Unlike other schools, the manage-ment does not request any academ-ic fees. The campus is equipped with all facilities and with the up-grade, students can do their school-ing up to Class X," K Marudhanay-agam, Assistant Elementary Educational Officer (AEEO) of Manigandam block, said the stu-dents who discontinued would now have to enroll in their respective schools. Another school, the Government Girls High School in Thuvarankurichi which will be upgraded to higher secondary soon, has a total of 500 students. Headmaster A Kanlan said 150 girls students appear for Class X board examinations ev-ry year after which the students have to admit themselves to a co-educational school, where many would discontinue their studies. 

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