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July 2, 2002 

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TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN WITH STYLUS AND PALM LEAVES

Leela, Yogeeswaravilasom School, Randamkutti, Kollam.

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Stylus to her is not some fancy device to input data into computers.  Rather it is a pointed sharp pen used by Leela to engrave alphabets on palm leaves for the young children studying in her old-fashioned nursery school.

48-year-old Leela alias Leelavilasini Ammal has been teaching children in this traditional way for the past 30 years at the Yogeeswaravilasom School, Randamkutti, Kollam.

35 students aged 21/2 to 6 years study in her school. 

She says it is quite difficult to obtain palm leaves for the manuscripts.  The palm leaves are dipped in water and tied into a knot at the tip.  Once dried, the leaves are ready for writing.  Starting with ĎHari Srií she engraves the alphabets on the dried leaves.  The leaves are then tied together using a string.

Although times have changed, Ammal is not ready to part with tradition.  The only concession she has shown to modernism is to write English alphabets on the palm leaves.

Monthly fee at the school is Rs. 35.  Although most students give the correct amount punctually, the collection isnít compulsory.

 

 

Courtesy: Mathrubhumi, January 7, 2002

Contributed by: Administrator

 

"What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the tomb. "