No students, Bengaluru’s oldest Kannada school shuts down | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Chamarajpet’s Model High School was started in the summer of 1870
BENGALURU: The Model High School in Chamarajpet — Bengaluru’s first Kannada-medium school started in the summer of 1870 with approval from the British administration — has faded into oblivion with student enrolments completely stopping three years ago.
What remains of the historic school on 4th Main Road in Chamarajpet are faded blackboards, broken furniture and dilapidated classrooms. Even the nameboard of the school has been wiped clean. The abandoned building is a mute testimony to the school’s sesquicentennial (150th year celebration) that never was.
The long hall of the institution with tall ceilings was where many who were initiated into first words of Kannada language went on to become famous names of Karnataka. Cricket legend GR Viswanath and film star Vishnuvardhan are among the school’s illustrious alumni.
Higher secondary wing closed in 2017 due to poor enrolment
An aided institution, Model High School began as a primary school and got its higher secondary wing in 1957. The school had an elaborate midday meals scheme for students. A mural on the board that has survived the vagaries of time shows what every student was given for lunch.
According to block education officer (south) LH Muthaiah, lack of student enrolment was a deathblow for the city’s oldest Kannada-medium school. “The student numbers kept depleting year after year before it was shut down,” he added.
Sources said the school’s higher secondary wing was closed in late 2017 as there was no student enrolment in Kannada medium. At that point, then Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had said no Kannada medium school would be closed. But the CM’s promise did no good, and the school’s primary section, too, shut down in early 2018. Today, the Model High School is only in the memory of its alumni and, occasionally, a subject of discussion on social media regarding its bygone pride.