Udupi’s T A Pai Modern Higher Primary School, a 97-year-old private Kannada medium institution, stands as a beacon of hope, providing free education to underprivileged children without relying on government funds. The school, where the esteemed Indian banker and politician T A Pai once studied, has been transforming the lives of children from impoverished backgrounds since its establishment in 1927.
The school, formerly known as Modern Higher Elementary School in Vinobha Nagar, Kadabettu, was founded by Narasinga Rao and later renamed in honor of its famous alumnus, T A Pai. Currently managed by Modern School Education and Development Trust (MSEDT), the institution hosts nearly 200 students from economically disadvantaged families across primary and elementary levels, ranging from grades one to eight.
The dedication of MSEDT towards offering accessible education is evident through their provision of free transportation to the students, ensuring they have a conducive environment for learning. G Damodar Rao, a trustee of the school, shared that after Nayak’s management in 1979, the school went through various phases of oversight until it finally found its home under MSEDT in 2013. The trust, led by managing trustee H R Shenoy and 12 other members, holds a firm belief that education should remain accessible to the most vulnerable sections of society.
“At present, there are 195 students studying in the school, and no teacher was provided by the government. The trust has appointed seven teachers and is providing them with an honorarium,” said G Damodar Rao. The school not only ensures quality education but also caters to the students’ basic needs, providing them with transportation, uniforms, books, bags, and even umbrellas.
The dedication of MSEDT goes beyond the day-to-day expenses. They have wisely established a corpus fund, using its interest to finance the school’s maintenance, including expenditures for electricity, telephone, water, repairs, and periodic building maintenance. This prudent financial planning allows them to sustain their noble mission of imparting education to the less privileged.
The illustrious alumni of T A Pai Modern Higher Primary School are a testament to the impact of their education. Notable individuals like Prof U R Rao, the former chairman of ISRO, and Dr K Mohandas Pai, a renowned doctor in Udupi, have emerged from the halls of this very institution. The school takes pride in nurturing talent and producing individuals who excel in various fields, contributing to the growth and development of the nation.
The philanthropic efforts of MSEDT, combined with the legacy of T A Pai, have made the school a symbol of social empowerment and progress. By providing free education, the institution empowers children with knowledge, fostering a brighter future for them and breaking the cycle of poverty. The tireless dedication of the trustees and teachers ensures that every child receives the care, guidance, and education they need to succeed in life.
The school’s inspiring journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of education in creating a more equitable society. As T A Pai Modern Higher Primary School continues to illuminate the lives of the less fortunate, it sets an example for educational institutions and policymakers alike to strive for greater inclusivity and accessibility in education. With its unwavering commitment, the school remains a shining light in the pursuit of a more just and enlightened India.