Six from Bihar village school clear Maths Olympiad

Six students from a school located in a remote village in Bihar’s Gopalganj district have cleared the prestigious International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) examination.

The school, founded by an IITian and situated in Chamanpura village which does not even have electricity, imparts education using latest technology. Generators are used to run the school’s computers and laptops. The Indian Express had carried a report, “In powerless Bihar, a school by innovation and skype (January 11, 2011)”, on the institution.

A student of the school secured 446th rank in the IMO. Among the successful students is the son of a daily wage earner from Aurangabad. The six students will now appear for IMO’s level 2 examination.

Chaitnya Gurukul Trust Public School tells the story of remarkable enterprise and innovation. The school’s founder and learning and development head at Bangalore-based Purple Leap, Chandrakant Singh, said: “The success of these six students at the IMO is overwhelming because it is an onerous task to draw students to a village school and keep them focused. The biggest revelation was success of class III student Sunny Kumar whose father Yogendra Kumar does petty jobs at Aurangabad.”

The other five are Swetank (class IV), Atul Kumar (class V), Aftab Alam (class VI), Utasav Srivastava (class VII), Raj Aarayan (class VIII). Utasav got highest rank among the six — 446.

Singh said: “Sunny was recommended for admission in our school by Bihar Foundation Bangalore chapter member Ashutosh kumar, whose team bears his education expenses. A student had also cleared science Olympiad test last December.” Teachers take help of TFT monitors in place of blackboards. Singh is himself on the faculty, teaching mathematics through skype from Bangalore. Pankaj Kumar, from BIT, Sindri, teaches physics from his home in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, where he works with NTPC, and Sanjay Rai, from BITS, Pilani, teaches chemistry from Korwa in UP, where he works with HAL.

The school opened in April 2010, and has 461 students, 180 of whom stay at its hostel. Most students are from 50 villages across Chhapra, Siwan and Gopalganj districts, and many of them come from as far as 15 km away. The basic tuition fee is Rs 300 for Class I and increases by Rs 100 for every class upward. Hostel residents are charged Rs 4,000 a month, but concessions are given depending on family income, which the trustees ascertain themselves by travelling to villages and meeting families.

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