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Marathi medium school gets ISO mark without BMC, state help

After being ignored by the government for six years, Bhandup school gets certification with help from former student
 
In what will reportedly be a first, a government-aided Marathi medium school that runs a primary and secondary division, will be awarded an ISO certificate, given to schools that achieve excellent academic performance and have top-class extracurricular facilities.

But as it turns out, this school, Sahyadri Vidya Mandir (SVM) in Bhandup, despite its terrific results, has hardly received any help from the state or Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in six years. According to rules, a government aided primary school is supposed to receive an annual sum of Rs 10 for every student from the BMC.


Trustees and teachers, (left, sitting) Sanjay Pawar (second) and
Bhaskarrao Rane (fourth)


Similarly, the secondary division is supposed to get eight per cent of the total salary handed out to its teachers from the state government. However, SVM has received no financial aid, despite many pleas, for the past six years.

Bhaskarrao Rane, one of the trustees of the school said, "Every year we contact the BMC, asking them to sanction the money that the school is entitled to. But for the past six years, they have failed to do so. No explanations have come our way either. The Maharashtra government, on the other hand, says they don't have the money to help us."    

The school, however, has been performing exceptionally well. For the last five years, it has been maintaining a pass percentage of over 95 per cent. For the year 2010-2011, the pass percentage of the school's SSC result was 99.58 per cent. Ankita Matkar, a student of SVM, secured 96.54 per cent in the SSC examination.

SVM that has a total of 1,347 students. Unlike most other schools in Mumbai, it also offers a number of extracurricular options like athletics, cricket, gymnastics, karate and indoor games.

According to Sanjay Pawar, an ex-student of the school who is now a trustee, he learnt about the ISO certification procedure for schools (ISO 9001:2008) on the Internet. When he checked its criteria, he found that SVM fulfilled all of them. He said, "I thought to myself, why shouldn't my school apply?"

Pawar, after getting the approval of the other trustees, applied for the certification to International Certification Services (ICS), an ISO appointed company that looks into certification claims in India and neighbouring countries.

A thorough check by ICS officials was then conducted on October 1 and 10 days later, the school was reportedly informed that they were being granted the certificate.

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