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

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Kan­chan Sri­vas­tava kan­chan. sri­vas­tava@ dnain­dia. net

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

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