As we set foot in the Kommasandra Government Lower Primary School, (Dommasandra cluster) at the beginning of this academic year, the teachers welcomed us with huge smiles.
“We have a surprise for you!” said Ms. Usha, one of the two teachers in the school. We entered a classroom only to be pleasantly surprised to see that it was filled with 38 students. This was a school which barely had an enrolment of 10 students the previous year.
“We had 27 new admissions this year. This is the highest number of students we have had in a long time,” Ms. Usha’s excitement knew no bounds.
This is the story of a school which, until last year, was on the verge of closing down owing to low enrolment rates. The school was given time till the upcoming academic year to show an increment in numbers.
Last year, as we were planning the enrolment drive in the Dommasandra cluster, there was a concern if the impossible could be achieved. While all seemed low on motivation, the staff awaited the school’s impending closure, not knowing what could be done to reverse the trend.
The enrolment drive
The enrolment drive at Dommasandra was planned with multiple objectives in mind. The larger objective was to improve the community’s belief about government schools by engaging them with school leaders and teachers.
As a result, all the materials required for the enrolment drive – from pamphlets to banners to snacks for the students, were all contributed by various stakeholders from within the Dommasandra cluster.
What was most heartening was to see how different schools within the cluster came together for a common cause. Mr. Laxmipathi, Principal of TC Halli School was very happy to conduct the enrolment drive along with 3 other schools.
“Since all the schools have the same purpose, it was very helpful to organize the drive together. Instead of spending a lot of time on this by doing it alone, I was able to tap into various resources to conduct the enrolment effectively,” he said.
As a result of this drive, 9 out of 14 schools in the Dommasandra cluster have shown a striking increase in enrolments this year – the highest this cluster has seen in the last few years.
With the increase in the number of students in her school, Ms. Usha she is so excited to see students marching in. There’s belief in the power of possibilities and new hope that small efforts can make a huge difference.
Motivation is contagious
The enrollment drive in the Dommasandra cluster garnered a lot of attention and was covered by various local media channels. This motivated the schools even more and increased their participation in the enrolment drive.
The success of this enrolment drive has had a ripple effect on the other clusters as well. Stories of similar enrolment drives in different clusters have boosted our confidence in encouraging the community to send their children to schools.
To have the same impact across all clusters and engage the community in our mission takes every child a step closer towards quality and equal education.
By Dommasandra Team, Cluster Transformation Project, Mantra4Change