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IR. S. Thayala rajah

S Thayala is a man with many hats; he is an engineer, a social worker and an educator. He was instrumental in strategising and executing countless educational programmes under the Education, Welfare & Research Foundation (EWRF) formed in 1979 where Thayala was one of its founding members. But it was when his son was born that he decided to take his efforts up a notch.

“1988 was the year my son was born and it dawned upon me that I had an obligation to educate not only my son but also the society, as education is what empowers the society,” said Thayala.

He worked with the Ministry of Education, NGOs as well as companies and individuals to create a socio-economic upliftment through education. Thayala was steadfast in raising the standard of Yahya Awal Tamil School and worked on polishing the students’ achievements by organising motivation camps and reward systems for top scorers.

“Children need a conducive and balanced environment to excel both academically and in character. As a first time parent, I too made mistakes but this empowered my journey of trying to create a conducive environment that begins with trials and errors,” he said.

Thayala explained that working with children and families of diverse backgrounds is challenging. One must see from their viewpoint and the journey they undertake. We must be able to understand that they may have more pressing priorities or challenges that may cause their interest in education to take a step back.

“My message to parents or any social worker is this: children need to balance their education and have a wholesome perspective of the different adversities life throws their way. The different types of exposure a child has will help guide their way,” said Thayala.