OOTY: As the Panchayat Union Middle School (PUMS) at Geddai village, which educated thousands of students from the time of the construction of the hydro power station there many decades ago, faces closure, voices are rising to revive the school to help the poor and the tribals.
While about half-a-dozen government-run schools across the Nilgiris have been temporarily closed from this academic year due to lack of student strength, now the PUMS at Geddai located in the far south-west end of the Nilgiris also finds its name in the closure list.
Stating that closure of the school seems to be the intention of the education department, Dr Kannikaraj King, a reputed homeopathic physician, former
advisor to the Tamil Nadu government on homoeopathy and president of the Tamil Nadu government homeopathic medical officers association, who hails from Geddai village and who studied in the PUMS at Geddai seven decades ago, charged that over the years, the Education department reduced teacher strength in this school.
“This school served as a temple of education for remote Geddai when thousands of labourers settled here when the hydro-power project was being constructed in the early 1900s. The tribal families that live in Mel-Geddai hamlet too relied on this school.
When government schools in nearby Kariamalai, Thiyashola and Kinnakorai hamlets are being run with a strength of about half-a-dozen students, why did the education department decided to close the school at Geddai?” he noted and demanded that the district collector of Nilgiris personally intervene in this issue to re-open this school to help children from poor families to pursue school education on their native soil.