April 2019 Edition
Ramadham Wishes

The lone Kerala teacher who crosses rivers, treks to teach her students

Being a selfless teacher is hard but imagine being the lone teacher in an isolated area. Ushakumari is doing the job for 16 years. 

According to a report by The Hindu, she is the only teacher in Kunnathumala Agasthya Eka Adyapaka School, located in southern Kerala. 

Her journey starts from village Amboori, from where she travels to Kumbikal Kadavu in Thiruvananthapuram. From there she rows a boat across the river and later treks for nearly two hours every day through a steep stretch of tropical forest to reach the Kanni tribal settlement in Kunnathumala.

Despite the long journey, she has never been late to school. 

Given the fact that she is the only teacher in the school, she teaches all subjects to 14 students from classes 1 to 4. Apart from academics, she also takes care of extracurricular activities and nutrition. She serves them meals. Sometimes, she has to take her own money to get milk and eggs for the children. But despite all that, Usha has never felt like leaving.

On rainy days, she chooses to live in any of the student’s home so that she will not miss the class for the next day. 

The school got its building only in 2000. Before that, she would teach the students on rock beds and under the trees. But now the existence of this school and her job is in danger as the government is reportedly planning to close down multi-grade learning centres operated by single teachers like Ushakumari and replace them with regular lower primary schools.

 

 

Image courtesy: The Hindu

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