Savouring a remarkable journey at Deccan Road Primary

2015-05-06 10:24
Siva Gounden

Siva Gounden (Jonathan Burton)

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AFTER almost 40 years of teaching at Deccan Road Primary School, well-known community leader and school principal Siva Gounden bid a sad farewell to his colleagues and pupils last week.

Speaking to The Witness at his Raisethorpe home enjoying his retirement, Gounden said that hearing the school buzzer go off in the distance only brings back fond memories.

“I miss the children, I miss the teachers and I miss the school,” said Gounden.

Gounden, a self-proclaimed “farm boy”, was born and raised in Seven Oaks Farm in KwaZulu-Natal. Having only two teachers throughout his primary school years at the multi-grade Harden Heights Primary School in Greytown, Gounden said it was then that he became fascinated by teaching.

On February 6, 1975, Gounden reported for duty at Deccan Road Primary School. “I remember my first day like it was yesterday. I was asked to take charge of a Standard One class, which was in Room 12,” he reminisced.

Forty years later, Gounden said he had many people to thank through his journey as an teacher, later a head of department and then principal.

“I was fortunate to have worked with a group of outstanding teachers who inspired me. I worked under three exceptional principals in this school; G. Matthias, R. Munisamy and J.M. Thomas. During my long stay at Deccan Road Primary, I saw our education grow and prosper and above all enjoyed the experience of seeing so many of our pupils excel in the various fields and make a significant contribution to society. The success at Deccan Road Primary was only due to team efforts,” Gounden said.

The mathematics and sciences teacher said he plans to reignite all his hobbies during his retirement and spend quality family time. “I want to travel and read and spend time with my recently retired wife, Chookie. Most importantly, I also want to use this time to give back to the community by working with disadvantaged kids. I believe education is the most powerful tool to effect change.”

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