Namakkal’s topper producing schools were once the rage, not anymore

Illustration: Prathap Ravishankar

A few years ago, a day like Monday, April 29, would have been a busy day in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu. The state board Class 10 exam results had been released and that would have meant frantic phone calls and personal inquiries at the schools here. But this year, Namakkal streets showed little traces of any buzz and the schools wore a deserted look.

Namakkal’s schools are not typical. Until recently, they churned out Class 12 toppers by the hundreds and anxious parents would have fervently wished to get admission for their sons and daughters in these schools after Class 10.

Some three decades ago, Chennai, being the capital, used to produce the toppers of the Class 12 state boards. But over the last three decades, the focus had shifted to smaller towns and cities. With rote learning entrenched and demand for higher education spreading, new schools sprang up in the smaller cities, mastering the art of cracking the examinations and teaching the students.


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