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ISO label for select Coimbatore Corpn. schools

Eight Coimbatore Corporation higher secondary schools would soon add the ISO certification feather to their caps. This is only in the first phase, though, says R. Kalyanasundaram, Chairman, Corporation Committee on Education, Parks and Playgrounds.

“In its efforts to improve the standards in Corporation schools, the civic body has taken the first step. More schools will follow,” he says.

The eight schools identified to be eligible to obtain the international certification are :

  1. Corporation Girls’ Higher Secondary School, R.S. Puram West.
  2. Corporation Higher Secondary School, R.S. Puram.
  3. S.R.P. Ammaniammal Girls’ Higher Secondary School, R.S. Puram.
  4. Corporation Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Ramakrishnapuram.
  5. Corporation Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Ranganathapuram.
  6. Corporation Higher Secondary School, Siddhapudur.
  7. Corporation Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Oppanakara Street.
  8. Corporation Higher Secondary School, Rathinapuri.

In order to improve the infrastructure in these schools, the Corporation has replaced the blackboards with multimedia screens, provided high – speed internet access to the computer laboratories , constructed dining halls, provided top quality desks and benches in the classrooms and set up drinking water facilities with hot, cold and normal options.

“The Corporation has even installed napkin vending machines, incinerators and provided rooms for girls to take rest in the girls’ schools,” Mr Kalyanasundaram says.This is only on the infrastructure front, though. The Committee chairman says that as part of the ‘Adolescent Students Alternative Health Programme,’ the Corporation has trained teachers to train students in physical and mental exercises like yoga and meditation. The eight schools would also be provided with modern libraries worth [rupee] 6 crore and laboratories valued at [rupee] 40 lakh.

The Corporation has also engaged experts in nutrition to educate girls on the types of food they must consume and those they should avoid. And, based on the experts suggestions, the noon – meal scheme menu has been improved upon.

In addition to taking care of the students’ facilities, the Corporation has also focussed on the improvement of teachers’ abilities. Mr. Kalyanasundaram says the civic body, in association with the Art of Living Foundation, has trained high and higher secondary school teachers in imparting stress – free teaching.

This is only a few of the many the steps the civic body has taken to improve standards in its schools, Mr.Kalanasundaram says and adds that once the eight schools get the ISO Certification, the Corporation would initiate steps to help more schools achieve the high standards of quality.

Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra says the eight schools would get the certificates in a month’s time.

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Coimbatore set for expansive development

Coimbatore, the second biggest city in the State, is all set for a quantum leap forward.

The State Government has recently cleared the proposal to bring some of the suburbs under the Coimbatore Corporation.

The jump to progress is to be associated with greater area, bigger population and better amenities that will help the city scale greater heights.

The Tamil Nadu Government recently gave its nod to expand the Coimbatore Corporation area by annexing 12 local bodies.

This means that the city area will increase from 105 sq.km. to 265.36 sq.km., population will increase to 12.62 lakh (based on 2001 census) and revenue will go up to [rupee] 278.43 crore.

By being a part of the expanded Coimbatore Corporation, Kurichi , Kuniamuthur and Kavundampalayam municipalities, Saravanampatty, Kalapatti, Vellalore, Vadavalli, Thudiyalur, Veerakeralam and Perur town panchayats and Vilankurichi and Chinniyampalayam panchayats stand a lot to gain, say sources.

K.M. Sundaram, Chairman, Kavundampalayam Municipality, says the fast developing northern suburb will stand to benefit in terms of water supply, underground drainage, waste management, roads and street lights.

Waste management

“At present, the municipality does not have a proper solid waste management facility and is dumping waste on vacant sites and along water bodies. This will change once the Kavundampalayam area is a part of the Coimbatore Corporation, as it will be able to access the latter’s facilities at Vellalore,” he explains.

“For the residents, the merger of the local bodies will lead to door – to – door collection and cleaner streets.”

Improvement in services will come only with increase in manpower, which again can happen only if it merges with the Corporation.

“At present, the municipality has employed 236 persons on contract, who work as drivers, conservancy workers, etc.

Such a shortage can be addressed by way of the integration with the city,” he says, reflecting the plight of several such local bodies.

Mr. Sundaram adds that the municipality has not been able to serve its best because it also does not have the financial wherewithal.

“Like most civic bodies, the municipality survives on subsidies and grants from the State government. The General Fund it gets from tax collection does not match the needs of the local body,” he explains.

However, there are those who take a different view of the merger. E.V.P. Balasubramaniam, Chairman, Vellalore Town Panchayat, says other than the rise in land value, not much benefit will accrue as the area is more or less self sufficient in civic amenities.

But there is every possibility that the dump yard there will see the inflow of more garbage, leading to more trouble for the residents.

Sources in the Coimbatore Corporation say the city’s expansion will lead to the development of the area but that will not be at the cost of the other areas.

Pointing out that Ganapathy, Sanganur, Kumarapalayam and a few other local bodies that were not part of the Coimbatore local body had developed beyond imagination after integration with Coimbatore Corporation, they say that the 12 civic bodies only stand to gain in the long run.

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Corporation plans school bus service

In what may be a first for a civic body in the State, the Coimbatore Corporation has mooted exclusive bus service for students of its schools. If it becomes a reality, a majority of the over 25,000 students are expected to benefit.

R. Kalyanasundaram, Chairman of the committee and members including P. Shobana, VKSK Senthilkumar and N. Tamilselvi moved the proposal at the budget consultation meeting.

Mr. Kalyanasundaram said the proposal was mooted keeping in mind the interest of the students, who, during mornings and evenings, competed with adults to board buses.

On many an occasion, the students, particularly girls, were forced to run with their bags after the buses, which stopped away from bus stops. The students also found it difficult to reach schools in time, he said and added that the committee had proposed to operate six buses.

“The plan is to ply a bus in each of the four zones and two more depending on the patronage. The buses could start from the Corporation’s borders and bring in students to the schools.”

Mr. Senthilkumar said based on its financial wherewithal, the civic body could either purchase the buses or rent them on annual lease.

The Coimbatore Corporation has 82 schools that cater to nearly 30,000 students, some of who even attend schools from areas like Kurichi and Kuniamuthur that are outside the Corporation limits.

The second proposal the Committee made was for having a biometric attendance system in schools to monitor the presence of teaching and non – teaching staff. “There have been attendance – related complaints, which can be put to rest.”

He has also proposed installation of school management software to enable better coordination between the head office and the schools. The Committee has also suggested renovation of grounds, installation of floodlights and an aquarium in association with the Fisheries Department.

The Commissioner will peruse the recommendations, place it before the Council for approval and if passed the same will be forwarded to the Government.

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