Thambithottam Higher Secondary School

A School with a difference!

In his writings, Gandhi described a pedagogy that stressed on the principles of Nai Talim. This approach to education was rooted in honing productive skills that simultaneously developed the body, mind and soul. He proposed that handicrafts be at the centre of this curriculum and children learn from social environment and craft.  In order to propagate these principles we started a basic school in 1947 for children up to age 10, i.e. present day 5th standard. In 1952, the school expanded to include basic education in classes 6 to 8 and eventually classes 9 to 11. In line with the Nai Talim principles, students at Thambithottam School are encouraged to pursue activities like craft, agriculture, weaving and spinning as a part of their holistic education.

While the basic school was initially situated in the Gandhigram campus, the senior school began functioning in the 15 acres of land, bought with the generous donation of TVS family. It is about one kilo meter away from the main campus which prompted us to shift the institution to its present campus. Thereafter that garden was called Thambithottam (Thambi Gardens) in honour of one of the grandsons of Shri.TV Sundaram Iyengar. The school became an eponymous with the gardens.

However, over the years, Nai Talim had not attained the acceptance it deserved, making it a challenge for institutions that strictly followed these principles. In order to ensure that children in Thambithottam were not at a disadvantage due to this, teaching at the school began to be geared towards preparing students for the SSLC examinations. The basic premise and practices of Nai Talim, however, continue to be followed.  

 In 1978, it became a full-fledged higher secondary school. Today, there is one section in all classes which teaches in the medium of English while rest follows Tamil medium. Currently, 755 students are enrolled in the school with 24 teachers. Similar to other institutions of Gandhigram, the children are encouraged to be self-reliant and do their bit to serve the community. 

“True education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances or it is not a healthy growth.”  Mahatma Gandhi