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Cradle for toddlers first to win tall corporate honour

- Baug-E-Jamsheed storms 600-point barrier to bag coveted Tata excellence award for education

A city school for tots has shattered a formidable corporate glass ceiling.

Baug-E-Jamsheed bagged the Dr JJ Irani Award for Excellence in Education, an honour conceived by Tata Steel Education Excellence Programme (TEEP), becoming the first cradle to do so in the eight years the prize was instituted.

The pre-primary school broke the mandatory 600-point barrier out of 1,000, the key requirement for winning the award named after J.J. Irani, noted metallurgist and former Tata Steel managing director.

Over 50 schools — 48 from Jamshedpur and one each from Thane and Ghatshila — vied for the honour, but only one succeeded.

School principal Shireen Dotivala received the award at XLRI auditorium from chief guest Narendra Jadhav, member of Planning Commission of India (education and social justice) and National Advisory Council.

The award — a citation and gold-plated memento — would spur the school’s “ongoing journey towards excellence”, said Dotivala.

Last year, Baug-E-Jamsheed and Loyola School managed to cross the 550-points mark but did not win the award.

This is why the award stands out. It brooks no compromise. No 600 cut-off, no prize.

TEEP uses the US-based and globally acclaimed Malcolm Balridge Assessment System, customised to Indian requirements, to assess education standards and raise the bar of teaching and learning methods.

This year, two other cradles — Kerala Samajam Model School (KSMS) and Tarapore School — broke into the 550-599 points slot, getting commendations for outstanding achievement. This was another first instance in the eight-year history of the award.

Three others — JH Tarapore School, Motilal Nehru Public School and Jusco School-South Park scored between 500 and 549 points. They received commendation for extraordinary achievement.

Five others — Gulmohur High School, Jamshedpur Public School-AIWC, Jusco School-Kadma, Kerala Public School, and Narbheram Hansraj English School — earned commendation for significant achievement by scoring between 450 and 499 points.

Schools with 400-449 points and 350-399 points received awards for “strong commitment” and “commitment” to excellence in education.

Jadhav, an economist and social scientist of global repute, stressed on the need for harnessing the demographic dividends.

“We have the largest cohort of young people undergoing transition to adulthood, a population of 225 million between the ages of 10 and 19 years. We can use it to our advantage by focusing on education and skill development,” he said.

He added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stressed that by 2022, the government aimed to have 500 million technically trained youths.

N.K. Sharan, general manager, Tata Quality Management Services, said they would soon develop a curriculum on excellence and increase the ambit of TEEP.


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