To date, ACF has helped 15 Zilla Parishad Schools and 15 Angawadis become ISO Certified in Chandrapur District - boosting education outcomes in these rural schools.
In Chandrapur, Maharashtra, lack of training learning materials and poor teaching quality meant that schools were graded 'C or D' level by the District and State Boards of Primary and Secondary Education.
ACF decided to turn this grading around, with a focus on fulfilling basic requirements like improving infrastructure, introducing digital components through Balmitra support and providing capacity building programmes like training, workshops and exposure visits.
With invested efforts from ACF in providing E-learning materials, library and support of computers, schools in Chandrapur improved, with many being upgraded to 'A or B' level grades by the District and State Board's of Primary and Secondary Education.
But Principals, parents and ACF staff, wanted to do more, and take these schools to an all new level. The idea of having schools ISO Certified started in 2015 with an exposure visit to a school in Aurangabad, where school representatives, parents and ACF staff were apprised of the certification. Seeing the potential ISO certification brought, there was a need to convince the management and community on the importance of ISO certification to help improve quality education.
With the help of ISO consultants, the parents and School Management Committees ( SMCs) agreed to contribute to the fees and work towards introducing the ISO parameters in schools. And changes began to occur.
Schools started maintaining records, beautification increased, innovative school activities were encouraged with high involvement of SMCs and Parents. This led to schools completing internal and external audits with 4 schools receiving ISO certification in the first year following which, 2 other schools received certification in the next phase.
"When I joined as principal of Zilla Parishad School in Pimpalgaon in 2013, children from the community were mostly going to faraway schools for education. Teachers were even waiting to get their transfer orders and shift to other schools. Today, my school is ISO certified and it is amongst the top 10 schools in the district. Admissions and attendance has gone up and both children and teachers look forward to attending school," says Moreshwar Bonde, Principal, Pimpalgaon, Chandrapur.
Overall development in schools improved with a 360-degree change:
- Quality of students' learning improved.
- Increased parents level of satisfaction from schools.
- Necessary infrastructure was developed and maintained.
- Improved knowledge and competency of Teachers through Capacity Building.
- Developed 'system dependent' work culture as a sustainable model.
- Improved health, hygiene and safety of school.
- Developed teachers positive attitude towards teaching and overall school development.
- Reduced number of complaints by parents and children.
- Increased confidence of students/parents/community.
- Increased community contribution and active participation.
ACF has been initiating ISO certifications for Government Schools and Anganwadis in villages by helping to upgrade facilities to reach a high standard of requirements and to date, 15 schools have been ISO certified.
Seeing the results brought about by this initiative, the Maharashtra State Government has started recognizing and appreciating ISO certification of schools and has started adopting the activities of ACF in other schools of the district.
Read more about ACF's interventions in helping schools with necessary infrastructure, here