Vellore Corporation Primary School children staging protest in Chinna Allapuram in Vellore on TuesdayVellore Corporation Primary School children staging protest in Chinna Allapuram in Vellore on Tuesday
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In the heart of Vellore, a story of student-led protest and community support unfolded recently at Government Primary School in Chinna Allapuram. S Senthil Kumar, affectionately known as more than just a teacher to his students, faced a transfer order after dedicating 11 years to the school. To his dismay, over 300 students and their parents gathered in protest on the school grounds, demonstrating their deep attachment to Senthil and their reluctance to see him leave.

Senthil, who had transformed the school during his tenure, was not only an educator but also a friend, caretaker, and diligent instructor. Despite the school’s chronic understaffing issues, he ensured the syllabus was covered thoroughly and took personal responsibility for his students’ well-being, even rushing them to hospitals during emergencies.

The transfer order, initially believed to be mandatory, turned out to be voluntary on Senthil’s part due to health reasons. He had requested a move to a smaller school in Saduperi. When this was clarified to the protesting parents and students, relief swept through the crowd. Their adamant stance and Senthil’s dedication prompted officials to temporarily reverse the decision and reinstate him at the school.

Reflecting on his journey, Senthil recounted how he had significantly increased the school’s enrollment from 131 to over 350 students by improving infrastructure and fostering a conducive learning environment. His efforts were recognized with the Best Teacher Award from the state government, and the school itself received accolades as the Best School in 2022.

Parents and community members praised Senthil’s leadership amidst staffing shortages, highlighting that the school currently operates with only eight teachers instead of the required eleven. Despite these challenges, Senthil’s commitment and managerial skills kept the school running smoothly.

Following the protest, district education officials and local authorities intervened, assuring the community of Senthil’s temporary reinstatement and appointing additional staff to support him. A new headmaster (in-charge) has also been appointed, with Senthil continuing to assist in maintaining the school’s educational standards.

The saga of Senthil Kumar and his students in Vellore serves as a testament to the profound impact of dedicated educators and the power of community solidarity in ensuring quality education for all.

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