A School Leader’s Quest to Boost Student Enrollment to 1,000 in a Year in Rural Davanagere

A School Leader’s Quest to Boost Student Enrollment to 1,000 in a Year in Rural Davanagere

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kuvempu Higher Primary School

Siddappa B C, Kuvempu Higher Primary School, Davanagere, Karnataka

“Enroll your child at Kuvempu Vidyalaya, and let us take care of them. In just two years, you’ll see a remarkable transformation in their behavior, attitude, personality, and academic growth,” confidently states Siddappa B.C., backed by the dedicated team that strengthens his school. The pride Siddappa feels is palpable when he shares how moved he is to see his and the institution’s names on invitation cards from students. This simple gesture shows the kind of impact he and his institution have on their students’ lives.

Background

Located on the outskirts of Davangere, Siddappa stands at the helm of one of the most esteemed schools in the region. Although he secured a qualification in ITI electricals, he occasionally wishes that perhaps he could have pursued further studies. However, this perceived shortcoming never hindered his passion or ambition.

Siddappa’s career began in Bangalore, where he dedicated five years to the renowned Kirloskar company. Yet, he felt a strong desire to go back to Shaygale, his birthplace. The idea of returning and creating something that reflected his qualifications and skills was compelling. Many, including his family and friends, thought he was making a mistake by leaving a stable job. But Siddappa was sure about his decision as he was driven by a vision and determination to make a positive change in his community.

Also Read: One School Leader in Haryana Powering Up a Community through Education

From Vision to Reality

In 2009, Siddappa started his own ITI college in his hometown, aiming to create a brighter future for his community. Although the initial stages, filled with obtaining permissions from NCBT and securing other affiliations, took a year or two, the college officially opened its doors. Along with this project, Siddappa also thought about starting a school near the college.

In 2016, even though there were many challenges, the Kuvempu Higher Primary School was founded.

From Vision to Reality

Today, with 718 students in the school and 80 in the college, the institution stands as a testament to the reality that with hard work, dreams can indeed come true.

Providing Holistic Education

Siddappa’s school teaches more than just regular subjects. Their curriculum focuses on areas like Spoken English, Karate, Computer Literacy, good handwriting, and more. Siddappa shares, “In the near future, we plan to introduce Sanskrit classes, lending them the same level of priority. We make sure every student learns to speak English well.” He further elaborates, “For us, the overall development of a child is very important.”

Siddappa’s philosophy on education is all about humility and vision for the future. He thinks it’s important for students to know about everything, including new technology.

COVID Times and Support from Varthana

This period was a tough one to sustain. Siddappa and his team showcased resilience and swiftly adapting to the new normal, they transitioned to online classes, ensuring continuous engagement with both teachers and parents. The entire community worked tirelessly around the clock. The dedication paid off: even during the pandemic, they managed to collect 50-70% of the school fees, easing the financial burden of operational costs and loan repayments.

“The construction of our school building became a reality thanks to the financial support from Varthana. They stood by us even during the challenging COVID times,” Siddappa gratefully acknowledges.

Also Read: How One Man Transforming Lives Through Education for the Underprivileged in Thane

A Glimpse into the Future

Siddappa sets his sights on ambitious goals. He is now looking forward to increasing the student strength to 1000 in the coming year. He has plans to enhance the infrastructure of both the school and college. He also wants to have places for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders to live in the school. Right now, some of the students from 10th grade are already living there, and it’s going well. Within the next two years, Siddappa aims to accommodate 100 girls and 100 boys in these residential quarters. On the academic front, he also wants to start teaching medical courses.
Siddappa has big dreams, and looking at his track record, they seem well within reach.

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