Little Angels Nursery and Primary School
Headmistress: Geetha Suresh
Correspondent: Elizabeth George
The Little Angels School was founded in June 1999 as an offshoot of Little Drops, with the objective of providing quality education in English medium to poor and needy children of the villages in and around Little Drops.
The school made a small start with 28 children and 2 teachers in a shed with an asbestos roof. Since then it has grown and today, they have 545 children and 20 teachers from Pre-Kindergarten to Class 5, nearly all from the village of Koluthavanchery, where the school is situated.
The work of the teachers is made more challenging by the fact that most of the parents are illiterate, so not just the teaching but also the learning has to take place in the school. A nominal monthly tuition fee is collected from most of the students, but it survives mainly because of the donations and sponsorship of philanthropic institutions and individuals. The smallest to the greatest needs, from tables, benches, cupboards or stationery to buildings and classrooms, everything has been possible through the generosity of its various benefactors. The staff and students of the School remember their donors with gratitude and they have an endearing practice of praying every day for their wellbeing as well as for each member of the school and their families
Besides academics, Little Angels focuses on building character and inculcating moral values and principles in the children. Various cultural events are held every year, during Independence Day (August 15th), Children’s Day (November 14th) and the Annual Day(usually held in March) where children are given an opportunity to discover and display their talents, and thus gain self-confidence.
Imparting an education entirely in the medium of English, at a level of quality no less than any middle-class private school, to children of illiterate parents, can be a daunting task. Even getting trained teachers at the very average salary the school can afford is difficult. But the results have been heartening and there for all to see. A visit to any school event introduces one to children with smiling faces, speaking in English, singing and dancing with gusto, dressed in costumes cut and altered from old clothes donated to the school. The only regret for the children is that after Class 5, they have to move on to another school. It’s wrenching for the staff. They have no idea how many can afford to continue their schooling once they leave. But providing education beyond Class 5 is an extremely challenging task, given the government permissions necessary and the inability to pay for qualified teachers.
Here’s what a couple of the students have to say:
Nandini – “I don’t mind repeating Class 5 to remain in Little Angels for one more year”
Ashwin Kumar (on coming back to the school later) – “This is such a wonderful Sports Day. It brings back memories of the earlier Sports Days when I was a part of the school”