Girls tribal school first in state to get ISO document for excellence
Tide turned for the ashramshala with 630 students two years ago, after the Nandurbar district collector adopted it
Generally, tribal residential schools in Maharashtra are in the news for all the wrong reasons, keeping the Tribal Development Department of Maharashtra under pressure all the time.
Perhaps for the first time, the department has something to cheer about and share on social media, as one of the 530 tribal schools has been issued the ISO 9001: 2015 certification recently.
One of them is the Government Girls Secondary and Higher Secondary Ashramshala in Kothali village of Nandurbar. The school caters to nearly 630 children from various tribal villages across the district.
“While several private schools across the state have bagged the ISO for academic excellence, this is the first tribal school in the state to get the honour,” said a top official from the department.
Gajendra Kendre, project officer, Integrated Tribal Development Plan, Nandurbar, said that nine more schools in the district were in the process of getting similar certification.
“Nandurbar has 33 staterun tribal schools that cater to nearly 16,000 kids. Over 10 schools in Nagpur and Nashik district have also started working for the certification. It may take a few months when they will actually get it,” a government official said.
Jagdish Patil, principal of the Kothali school, said, “The Delhi- based company had held an internal audit of the school to check our academic excel- lence, infrastructure, methods of learning, digital classrooms and hostels. There were some deficiencies that we addressed in a month’s time. The second audit was conducted and after finding all 46 parameters in place, the document was handed over to us.”
The school was established in 1979, and until a couple of years ago, it was just like any other tribal school in the state, whose sorry state of affairs often made headlines in the media.
Things started changing two years ago when the district collector adopted this school. Besides spending a lot on school and classroom infrastructure, an enthusiastic staff was also brought in to turn around things.
The school adopted several innovative methods of teaching, including focus on practical approach of teaching science, maths, geography and other subjects. Girls also grow vegetables in the premises. The government runs over 530 tribal schools. Nearly two lakh children belonging to deprived schedule tribes are currently studying in these schools, set- up in tribal concentrated districts such as Thane, Palghar, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.
Interestingly, after conducting a survey of these schools, the government had put them all up for adoption last year. A few corporates responded as well. They are offering health and other facilities.
Meanwhile, the government itself admitted nearly 25,000 kids into private residential schools this year with an aim to include tribal kids in the general society.
Students of the Government Girls Secondary and Higher Secondary Ashramshala in Kothali village of Nandurbar ( left) plant vegetables in school premises