Students get money, gold coins for enrolling in this Tamil Nadu school

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  • A school in Tamil Nadu is offering one-gram gold coin, ₹5,000 and two free sets of new uniforms to the first 10 enrollees.
  • This is being done to save the school after the government decided to shut down any school with less than 10 students.
  • The same was done by a school near Thanjavur which witnessed about 15 new enrollees within just a few days.

A primary school in the Konarpalayam village near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu has surpassed the incentives of mid-day meal and free cycles by offering one-gram gold coins, ₹5,000 and two free sets of new uniforms to the first 10 children who enrol themselves in it.

The scheme has already begun to show its effect. While it brought three new students in, another three children have also shown interest in getting admitted.

This school had started in 1996 with about 165 students. However, as the area started facing crop failure, the residents began shifting to neighbouring places. This left the school with only about 10 students within a few years.

The student enrollment decreased even further as the students started preferring English medium schools for their education.

Rajesh Chandrakumar, the headmaster of the school, told TOI that since he took over the office five years ago, he has been able to enrol only about six students. With only 65 families remaining in the area, the situation did not look to be improving for the school.

Problems mounted when the government decided to shut down any school with less than 10 students and Chandrakumar knew that it was time to speak to the village. The students and staff from the schools the government was shutting down would be accommodated in other schools near it.

In the meeting, a businessman in the village offered to incentivise students with gold coins and Selvaraj, the village head, promised ₹5,000 each to the first 10 enrollees. Selvaraj also told TOI that the school is the pride of their village and they do not want it to be shut.

However, as bizarre as this may sound, this is not the first school to encourage admissions with gold coins. In April, this year, a school near Thanjavur also did the same and witnessed about 15 new enrollees in just a few days.
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