Wednesday, June 28, 2023

All-round education

It might not sound like a big thing today, to have a society that is focused on educating boys and girls alike, but set up at a time when girls' access to formal education was minimal, this was a path-breaking effort. But P.S. Sivaswami Ayyar was such a path-breaking man. He started off with establishing a school for boys in his hometown at Tirukattupalli in Thanjavur, but he very quickly also established (rather, rescued) a girls' school in Madras, naming it after his wife. 

His 125th birth anniversary was celebrated in 1989 with the founding of a co-educational school that bears his name: Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Senior Secondary School in Mylapore. A couple of years later, the Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Higher Secondary School was also established in Mylapore.

Make that four. The society that he set up, The National Boys and Girls Education Society, which runs the three schools has set up The Radha Swamy Centre of Excellence in Mandaveli last year. This Centre is intended to offer experiential learning facilities to the students of the three schools, including their study of the performing arts, high performance training for table-tennis, special coaching for competitive exams and also a centre for Indic games. Which means this playfield in Mylapore will continue to be the place for the students to hone their skills in outdoor sports!

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