This former teacher couple too commence sweeping jobs in new schools

Wayanad: Education system has been undergoing a major overhaul nationwide of late. In Kerala the authorities recently ordered the shut down of 272 single-teacher schools that were functioning in remote areas of the State for the benefit of children who otherwise would have been left out of the formal education system. Several among the 344 instructors who were running these alternative schools are now being redeployed as sweepers with the formal title Full-Time Menial (FTM) staff. Onmanorama had earlier reported the stories of a few such teachers who took up the new role.

Here we profile a former teacher couple, Peter and Binu, who have got appointment as sweepers.

Until recently they were the only couple among the teachers at the 36 single-teacher schools in the Wayanad district. They were instructors at the school in the Cheeyambam 73 Paniya tribal hamlet. It was in 1997 that Binu started working as an instructor here. Later, her husband Peter, joined in 2003.

Interestingly, both of them were quite active in the literacy promotion activities in the tribal areas. Their friendship later blossomed into love and soon the duo tied the knot. They had married as per the tribal rituals in the hamlet. Binu was transferred when there was only one more month to celebrate her silver jubilee in teaching. She is proud that there are doctors and policemen among her disciples.

The couple, meanwhile, are happy and contended that they had trained everyone to become good individuals.

In the initial days, the school was run at a house in the colony. Even though a sturdy building was allowed for the school, it lacked basic facilities. Binu says that nothing prevented her from imparting knowledge to the students. There had been months when they didn’t receive the honorarium. However, they forgot their struggles when they saw the smiling faces of the children. The positive vibes that they received from the kids helped them survive the financial burdens too.

Now, Binu works as a sweeper at MM Girls High School at Kappiset. She is happy that the children from her single–teacher school too have been moved to this school. Even though the nature of her job has changed, Binu is grateful that she could at least see her beloved students every day.

Meanwhile, Peter has been appointed as a sweeper at the Girls Lower Primary School at Lakkidi.

Binu and Peter are natives of Amarakuni in Wayanad. They have two kids.  

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