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   :: Mr. K. Pooranampillai (Principal: 1943 - 1967)  
 
Mr. K. Pooranampillai

Mr. K. Pooranampillai was born in Thunnalai, about four miles from Point Pedro. He was the son of S. S Kanapathipillai, a former Principal and grandson, on the mother's side, of J.C.T. Sherrard, another Head of the school. His younger brother, Theivananthampillai, Reader in Linguistics and English at the Universities of Kuala Lumpur and Fiji, also studied at Hartley. Mr. Pooranampillai was an Assistant Teacher at Hartley under C.P Thamotheram for eleven years. His period of twenty-four years as principal was marked by re-organization and consolidation.

During this period, there were many educational changes. The mother tongue was made the medium of instruction from the Kindergarten to the University. The Assisted School System was abolished and they had to choose between becoming private schools and becoming free schools and later, Government schools.

Mr. K. Pooranampillai passed away in UK at his daughter's residence on April 22, 2001. His funeral took place in Falkstone, Kent on April 28, 2001. Many past pupils of Hartley College now resident in UK attended his funeral.

Browse through the links below for more information on Mr. K. Pooranampillai:

  • View Condolences
  • TamilGuardian.com Article
  • TamilNet.com Article
  • Article by Mr. P. Balasingam
  • EelamNation.com Article
  • 160th Anniversary
  • HCPPA-Colombo
  • KP's MSG in 1993
  • PPA-UK Vice Patron
  • Soon after Hartley became a free school, faced with the rush of pupils, Mr. Pooranampillai decided, with the approval of the Governing Body, that Hartley should continue to be a two-form entry school, that no class division should have more than 35 pupils, and that the total enrollment should not exceed 650. Hartley thus became a Selective School.

    The Principal also took a period a week in each of the lower forms of the school doing English, and also in the top forms doing current affairs. He came to know his pupils at entrance and in the final year, and impressed on them the ideals and values of life. The Tuesday School Assembly Talks contributed to the education process. The talks were on Discipline, Self-Discipline, Punctuality, Planning, Streamlining, Courtesy, Helpfulness, Sportsmanship, etc. Stories were told illustrating the cardinal virtues, and of the lives of Saints and great men.

    He started the Prefect System and thus gave training in leadership. Besides the Literary Associations, other School Societies were organized. The Tamil Manram, & Politics Society, the Photographic Society, the Drama Society-thus giving Pupils experience in organization and leadership.

    At the term examinations, instead of ranking pupils according to the totals of marks scored, the Grading system (Grades I, II, III, IV, F) was introduced. Under the old system pupil who failed in the tool or compulsory subjects, could still top a class. To obtain a Grade under the new system, pupils had to pass in the compulsory subjects and get the required average of marks. Also under the old system real competition was confined to the first three pupils. Under the Grading system, any number of pupils could be in Grade 1. In one year in the S.S.C. / G.C.E. O/L class, there were as many as ten pupils in a class division, in Grade 1. Thus the motivation for the effort was widespread.

    The importance of written work in class was recognized. One written exercise a week had to be done in five period subjects; and in three period or two period subjects, one written exercise had to be done in a fortnight. This ensured that pupils had enough practice preparing for school Certificate Examinations which were mostly written ones. In the School Calendar, along with other dates, the dates when Exercise Books were to be sent to the office for supervision were given. The Principal, Vice-Principal and the Senior Assistants shared the task of supervision. Supervision Reports were in triplicate, one for the Principal, the second for the teacher, and the third for the Supervisor's file. Systematic supervision ensured good results. In 1952, a team of ten Inspectors under the Divisional Officer of Education did " a full-dress inspection: and their report read: "This is a good school, where work is well done and efficiently supervised".

    In 1953, Hartley celebrated the "centenary" of the founding of the school, and the foundation for a three-storey block was laid. It was to house the Science Laboratories and to be named " The Thamotheram Memorial Block."

    Hartley had loyal staff, all of whom were hardworking. Mr. Pooranampillai's idea was that at least 50% should be past pupils and at least 25% should be from other schools, so that the school benefited by new traditions and practices.

    In sports and athletics, he wanted as many pupils as possible to participate. Coaching in the basics of cricket was given to every pupil admitted to the lowest class. In Athletics, Mr. Pooranampillai felt that every pupil should contribute to the final ranking of the Houses. There were two Athletic Meets: there was the dual competition meet for selecting the first three in each item. Preceding this was a Meet when every pupil had to take part in a race (100 yards), a jump (long jump) and a throw (cricket ball). The final ranking of the Houses was decided by the totals to the points scored the two Meets. In Games there were inter- house matches in three levels.

    When in 1965, Hartley became a Government School; Mr. Pooranampillai felt unhappy at the delays caused by red-tape, and was planning to retire. However, he accepted an invitation from the Management of St. John's College, Jaffna a private school. There he served for nine years, making his mark there also, as an administrator and educationist.

    Mr. K. Pooranampillai passed away in UK at his daughter's residence on April 22, 2001. His funeral took place in Falkstone, Kent on April 28, 2001. Many past pupils of Hartley College now resident in UK attended his funeral.

    Browse through the links below for more information on Mr. K. Pooranampillai:

  • View Condolences from Hartleyites
  • TamilGuardian.com Article
  • TamilNet.com Article
  • Article by Mr. P. Balasingam
  • EelamNation.com Article
  • 160th Anniversary
  • HCPPA-Colombo
  • KP's MSG in 1993
  • PPA-UK Vice Patron

  • Page last updated: Jan. 06, 2009
     
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