Education#vii Chapter 4 – Results Achieved across Schools from the RT Program

Rural Development Through Educational System – A Report

Chapter 4
The RTES Project and Evaluation

The RTES Project and Evaluation-Summary
Introduction
The Schools
The School Performance
Level of Skills Training
The Khamgaon Case
Community Involvement
Education as a Change Agent
New Enterprises
Poultry Enterprises
Quality


The RTES Project and Evaluation-Summary

SUMMARY – Recommend reading syllabus in appends I; note the practical content and total time available; for appreciation of this evaluation.

School performance; level of skills; technological literacy; base level, effect on SSC results; community involvement financial; potential for school contribution to development; education as change agent; impressions of headmasters; non formal, enterprises; quality perception, the Khamgaon case; analysis of its failure.

Introduction

This project was started in 1988 September with the objective of examining the problems that could was arise in replicating the Vigyan Ashram system of technical rural education, as a means of rural development.

The replicability of all natural phenomena is the basis of all science and technology. What is intended is therefore to critically examine and document all information relevant to the objective so that if and when the decision to extend the program to more schools is taken, all strengths and weaknesses of the program are known, this will enable proper precautions to be taken in advance and also alternate solutions thought of for anticipated problems.

Such documentation of the experience and analysis of the results can come only from the group most interested in the progress of the program.The criteria for the decision to extend or not such a program is not whether the program is successful or a failure but whether the results justify the further effort in extending the program. This is because no project is fully a success or a failure until it is closed.

In judging a new idea, or any innovation such as this program, we have tried to judge what is the minimum we can expect and what is the best we can hope for the report is divided into three parts:
1. School performance. 
2. Community Involvement.
3. Education as a Change Agent.

The Schools

The RTES (Rural technology through Educational System) project, covered the following three schools in villages situated about 6-10 kms away from Pabal, where the Vigyan Ashram is situated.The project was undertaken between 1988 and 1992.

1. Bhairavnath Vidya Dham, Loni, Tal. Ambegaon, Dist. Pune. 410 510. This school will be henceforth referred to as the Loni School. It has two divisions and all students are given this technical education.

2. New English School, Dhamari, Tal. Shirur, Dist. Pune 412 403. This school will be referred to as the Dhamari school. It has only one division in each standard and all students are given this course.

3. Pragati High School, Mukhai, Tal. Shirur, Dist. Pune 412 208. This school will be referred to as the Mukhai School. It has only one division for each standard and all students are given this rural technology course.

In addition to the above, the following two schools, funded from other sources, also had rural technology courses and their experiences will also be recorded.

4. Bhairavanth Vidya Mandir, Pabal, Dist. Pune 412 403. This school will be referred to as Pabal school. It has three divisions for each standard, but only one out of these was given the rural Technology course. For this, the students come to Vigyan Ashram one day in a week for each standard. The remaining 5 days, the students study the other subjects in their own school. The school is not having any equipment or teachers and all the technical program is implemented by Vigyan Ashram.

5. Z. P. High school, Pimpalgaon Raja, Tal. Khamgaon, Dist. Buldhana, 444 306. This school will be referred to as Khamgaon school and had a Marathi and Urdu sections both with many divisions. Here the rural technology was given as a work experience subject and only in the VIII and IX standards.

There were many problems with this school and these will be referred to in the proper context.

The School Performance

The unique features claimed for this program in the original proposal have to be evaluated and are as follows:

1. It integrates education and development at school level.

2. Broad spectrum technical education that provides access to many modern technologies for rural youth. This includes school and out of school youth, boys and girls.

3. It provides technical services through the educational system and nurtures demand for such services in new areas. The community pays for these services, ensuring relevance and a minimum quality.

4. Develops new opportunities in the rural economy through local effort at solving problems.

5. It caters to the unorganised sector.

6. It is expected that this “technological literacy” will develop the inventive ability of the rural youth.

7. By combining education and development, it utilises the capital investment in human and equipment resources to the fullest and thus reduces the cost.

Level Of Skills Training

This being a course of 96 working days spread over three years, we should compare the results of these with other such pre-vocational courses. What is desired is a “technological literacy”.This should enable them to use the skill for their own needs for further self learning and practice, and to choose future vocations.

To judge the “technological literacy” we gave a written test to all the X std students of all three schools on a specific day. This test consisted of two sections, the general part- to establish the base line of their academic level and the technical part to test their technical knowledge based on experience.

The question papers were in Marathi and the English translation is given in the Appendix.

The syllabus as also the test results, along with the projects carried out by the students, indicate the board spectrum of skills taught. Welding, soldering etc.electrical diesel/petrol engines, pest control techniques, electrical resistivity method for water prospecting, and the variety of techniques, show that skills needed in the present science age are being taught and practiced.

The effectiveness of this education is shown by the data given in tables I, II, and III given below.

The results of the tests are as follows.

School Name/Grade

A 71+

B 61-70

C 51-60

D 41–50

E 31-40

F 20-

Loni, Technical

nil

4

6

28

35

2

Loni, General

nil

nil

nil

nil

2

73

Dhamari, Technical

1

3

11

13

21

1

Dhamari, General

5

16

16

7

5

1

Mukhai, Technical

nil

5

6

5

10

1

Mukhai, General

1

1

2

2

9

12

The above results indicate that, where the basic score is poor, there is a raising of the score curve in the technical subject. This means that the students do better in the technical subjects than in the general. The Dhamari results, which are better than for the other schools, show a very good performance for the general test, surpassing that for the technical. We have no other evidence of much better performance of Dhamari students in the academic subjects.

The SSC results of these three schools are given below for five years, three preceding the technical and two with the technical subjects.

Non Technical

Technical

School/Year

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

Loni

87

65

55

76

69

Dhamari

67

37

71

81

91

Mukhai

75

37

75

80

96

The figures represent the percentage of students passing the SSC exam in the respective years. This may be considered along with the comments of the Headmasters of the three schools given elsewhere. These show that this technical education has generally improved their understanding of modern skills and they have a technological literacy, and practical experience of using these skills to varying degrees.

Whereas all the students in the above three schools were taking the rural technology course, and therefore the comparison was possible only with the results of the same school in previous years, in the Pabal school, only one out of three divisions was getting instruction in rural technology. The other two divisions were getting only the compulsory subjects. Furthermore the students from the “A” division, that was getting the technical subjects were selected by drawing lots randomly and not by performance or otherwise.

The performance of the technical and non technical students should be therefore comparable.

The following table III gives the SSC results for five years, from 1988, when students have been appearing for the SSC exams.

Year

Technical

Non Technical

1988

87%

58%

1989

82%

45%

1990

79%

60%

1991

67%

56%

1992

70%

60%

The results of the Rural technology subject itself have generally been 100 % in all schools and all years except one. One girl did not appear for a practical exam and therefore failed in the overall exam because of the rural technology papers. The rural technology papers are covered by the state education board rules for paper setting and evaluation. External examiners from other schools have been correcting examination papers.

The above data shows that the students, taking the technical subject generally do better in SSC examination, than those who do not take the technical subject;this in spite of the fact that these technical students get 20 % less time for study than the students with non technical subjects.

Conclusion

The technical education through the rural technology system gives them not only a wider technical knowledge and some skills but also they perform better overall in the school system.

The Khamgaon Case

While not a part of the RTES project, it is important to analyses the Khamgaon case, because failure often teaches us more than success.

The Khamgaon experiment was started with sponsorship by an industry located there. The school was selected after a survey by the industry and a joint visit by us and the industry. Among the short listed, Zilla Parishad(ZP) school at Pimpalgaon Raja and Tilak Vidyapeeth at Khamgaon, the ZP school was selected because the ZP has a chain of schools and if successful, it could be extended to other schools. It was also located in the rural area, whereas the Tilak Vidyapeeth was in the urban area of area of Khamgaon.

From the beginning there were organisational problems. The equipment was purchased, the staff selected and sent by a special transport to the school, end September 1989. The inauguration was organised by the industry and the ZP with the usual fanfare. However, to start the program there was no space nor electric supply. The power supply came and some Almirahs were given for storing the more valuable components. However, there was no space. Half the staff room was made available for keeping the equipment overnight, but the practicals were to be taken in the verandah. A hall under construction, was promised, but was not ready.

To add to the problems, the two instructors were relatively fresh and had not much experience. They could not get along with the Headmaster and there was no cooperation. Initially only 240 boys from the Marathi section were sent, later on our request, both the boys and girls were sent as well as the students of the Urdu section.

The first half of 1990 showed some improvement, the time table was revised to give one full day for the students going for our rural technology work experience. The space was still only the verandah.

Because of the friction between the instructors and the headmaster, the instructors were called back and other more experienced instructors from the Mukhai and Dhamari school were sent.

One and half years after the start of the three year project, the program was still operating only from the verandah and the equipment stored in half the staff room. The HM agreed for the verandah to be enclosed and our boys did this job to get some space of their own.

With the new academic year, the time table reverted back to the old one and students were given 35-40 minutes for the practical. Similarly, any class with no special need was sent to the work experience class. The whole program was equipment to the class and in the 35 minutes they could only explain the use of the equipment. Thus the practical basis of the program itself was given up.

In spite of these problems, the instructors built a poultry cage themselves and started a broiler poultry operation and carried out the operation with the help of students rather successfully. They made good profits in the first operation, increased the size of their cage to 100 birds, doubling the capacity. However, again in one batch, the headmaster complained of the offensive odour and prohibited further poultry operations. He suggested instead, egg layers, which is long term and less profitable. With one years disappointing performance, the staff was now demoralised and waiting only for the end of the project to return to their home.

Throughout the period, there was a small level of workshop and agriculture service. The water prospecting did not start at all.

We invited the Headmaster to Pabal for talks, but he could not come. Finally the project was terminated in Jan 1993 and all the staff and equipment was brought back.

A traveling lecturer / instructor was visiting every month for keeping the communications open. But apart from exchanging notes they were not very effective. The lecturer was not very familiar with the practicals and did not have the confidence to correct the local instructors. The instructor, was also not good enough to exert an influence on the program. The Ex. Director had visited the place once and met the chief executive officer of the ZP to try and get the hall built fast, but did not succeed.

The lack of space was not just a problem, it was also an opportunity. We tried to get permission for getting the hall completed, through our technical section. But we were unable to get any response in writing, even when we offered to do the most important work at our cost to be reimbursed later.

The major factors for failure were as follows

The staff was not trained to operate independently.

The agreement with the school was not precise and formal.

There were complaints from the school about the electricity bill of the three phase supply not being paid from the project, but it was agreed that the school must bear the cost of water and utilities and the space.

The Headmaster did not cooperate in reorganising the timetable and giving at least four contiguous hours for the work experience program.

The traveling instructors must be better trained and must be or a better grade than the teaching instructors. They have to have wider experience and must be able to solve minor problems.

There must be regular communication facility.

Community Involement

We believe that by giving services to the community, for which the community pays, we are establishing not only the relevance of the service but also the community ensures a threshold quality, based on the value for money they pay. By bringing the community involvement in this manner, we make the school a community center in the true sense.

The following table shows the rupee value of services given by the three schools, quarter wise from 1989 Jan.

Value in Rs: Community Services.

Quarter

Loni

Dhamari

Mukhai

1

476

1611

692

2

372

840

156

3

1766

5678

772

4

1214

1909

6540

5

9352

13736

13204

6

14636

5438

52362

7

23594

3771

13613

8

16502

5612

3616

9

3738

1863

8366

10

6786

12995

19410

11

12802

8737

1619

12

3614

9651

6109

13

12093

3497

11412

14

3365

10991

2662

Total Rs.

1,10,311

86,329

1,48,899

The above table shows that the schools have given substantial services to the community for which the community has paid. Such amounts have been accounted for by the schools in separate bank accounts.

A glance at the figures quarter wise shows, that the services, by value have varied a lot from quarter to quarter and school to school. This is because when prodded the services increased, and otherwise there was a tendency to take it easy. This shows the potential that the school technical group has and also the need for an incentive system and community control on the services, to do the prodding.

The different projects undertaken by the schools show the potential for independent attempts at solving local problems, creation of new opportunities in the rural economy and some inventive ability.

In March 1990, Sitaram Garud, a farmer of Mukhai thought of reducing the cost of roofing for the new 90′ x 15′ house that he was building. After discussion with some colleagues, he had a discussion with Vigyan Ashram and the technical staff of Mukhai school and decided to try a new idea – steel and Mangalore tile roofing. Whereas steel roof structures had been used by some people for sheet roofing, nobody had used steel structures for tile roofing. Sheet roofing is not very popular but tile roofing is. If the tile roofing could be made cheaper by using steel to replace the costly wooden trusses and purloins, then there could be major savings. But someone had to take the first step.

It speaks for the confidence in the technical staff of the Mukhai school that an order was placed with them for the steel roof structure for this 90 x 15 ft house.

The staff and some ninth and tenth standard students took up the work and built the trusses, rafters, purloins etc. The problem was to make the components in the school and transport them to the house site about 2.5 kms away and erect it in place on the top of the walls. The different components were to be put together on site. The accuracy did not allow for the whole job to be assembled by nuts and bolts. The staff felt more confident about welding them together rather than making an accurate and strong nut bolt assembly. But the house site had no electricity and they only had an electric arc welding facility. The solution thought out by the group was to collect the electric cables from several farmers, join them together and make a 1600 ft long cable to take the power supply from a well motor connection. This they did only to find that because of the long cable there was not sufficient voltage at the house site to do the welding.They therefore decided to work at night, when the electricity load is less and the voltages are higher. Thus the erection of the steel structure of Sitaram Garud was completed in a week by working at night.

The completed house was an attraction for many others, also interested in building similar houses. The saving by Garud of a reported Rs 10,000 was a great attraction. This encouraged Shri Umap, and Yewale Gulabrao and Narayan Palande, Raosahab Hirve and Ankubai Rajgurav, to build similar steel roofing for tiles. Thus within a few months, the following roof orders were completed.

Sitram Garud Rs 12,267, 90 x 15 ft house

Shri Umap 11,376

Yewale Gulabrao 11,025

Narayan K. Palanden 13,080, 60 x 15 ft house

Raosahab Hirve, 60 x 15 ft house

Ankubai Rajgurav 8,700

The differences in the rupee value for the different house sizes are because of the material being purchased by the school or the client.This is an example of how local initiative, coupled with technical skill, facility and cooperation from the staff and students, brought a wave of innovation in the village economy.

The innovation was not without problems. With the initial success, attempts at further economy by saving on steel sections, produced sagging in some places which had to be rectified by additional supports elsewhere. Any innovation is always accompanied by such errors and self correction that goes under the name experience.

Education as a Change Agent

The rural technology course is likely to bring about changes in society, through the community services in more than one way. First it brings in skills and services not available widely. Secondly, it encourages local adaptation and adoption of technology. Thirdly it can encourage local enterprise and innovation as also invention, to meet local needs. We shall first see how the headmasters of the schools see the change.

Impression of the headmasters of the schools: The headmasters of the three schools were requested at the end of the project to give a feed back on the following points.

They were requested to give a brief note giving their impressions of the good points and the weak points of the program. They were particularly requested not to be self congratulatory or blame individuals but try to discover how this program could help the future extension to 30 schools as planned by the state. They were also asked to comment on the skill level acquired by the students in comparison with other schools having a pre-vocational program or their own students before this program was introduced.

The comments received were in Marathi and a brief resume is given below.

Shri Kubde, HM, Mukhai High school

1. The course content is very relevant. Work culture and some income generation effects on the students have been observed.

2. Because of provision of services at affordable rates, the community and the school have come closer. The school has earned about Rs 30,000 in the 4 years, which is a matter of pride.

3. In this period of 4 years, about 65 non-formal students have been benefited.There is scope for improving this figure.

4. While the lectures and practical work seems satisfactory, the quality of service to the community could be improved. The instructors should put more effort and the school management must give more attention to this.

5. There have been no major problems in keeping accounts. Regular accounting as per the system given will eliminate any minor problems.

6. More attention to care and maintenance of equipment and facilities will go a long way in reducing losses etc.

7. More committed staff with less internal strife would have increased the prestige of the service wing in the community.

Shri Bhadale, HM. Dhamari School

1. Enrollment: The enrollment has increased from about 30 to 48 after this technical program was introduced. As against only local students, now students from neighboring hamlets are also attracted.

2. Exam: Results. Inspite of the larger number of students appearing for the SSC exam from our school, the % pass has increased from the max of 70.7% pass to 80.5% and 90.6% since the technical students appeared for the SSC exam. Also the highest marks obtained have shown an improvement by about 2%.

3. Effect on other subjects like engineering drawing have shown an effect on the accuracy of diagrams in geometry and science. Science and Maths have benefited by some revisions in the two branches.

4. School facilities : Many of the school needs have been met by this technical group. Earlier 20 class room desks were fabricated and now 50 more are being made with a saving of around Rs 150 on each. Many other items like racks, water tanks etc. have been made for use in the school.

5. Community services: The school has now been a real community center. The water prospecting by Electrical Resistivity has helped to show the scientific method and thus stemmed superstitious beliefs.

Boys and girls and also some teachers have started using the electricity training at home for simple wiring.The workshop service has been financially the most beneficial. The school made a motorised sprayer available in the village for the first time and helped farmers with pest control. Poultry showed some benefit but the instructors could have better performance through training.

6. Construction Repairs: The students could do more repair work for the school but they need to take more interest in this subject.

7. Home and Health: Many school girls and non-school girls and ladies have benefited by this, particularly elementary stitching. The number of machines and the instruction hours should be increased.

8. Increased Income: Though the additional income is small now, there is scope for increase. Also savings in the school budget by own manufacture is important.

9. With proper coordination between students and staff, many teaching aids could be made in the school. This has great potential.

In conclusion this is a far better program than the earlier work experience program. Attendance during technical subjects is better than for other subjects. But the skill level is not enough for starting own enterprises, except in poultry and sewing. The quality needs to be improved in the other subjects. Motivation has been an important factor for both the successes and weaknesses in this.

Shri Shinde. HM Loni High School

1. Definitely more useful than the earlier work experience program.

2. It has stimulated both the hands and the brain.

3. It has increased self reliance among the students.

4. It will be useful if computer and electronics can be introduced in this program.

5. It will be useful if rural technology can be a subject for 11th and 12th and the instructors selected from them.

6. The skill level of instructors should be improved.

New Enterprises

Self Employment for the formal course cannot be a valid test. The students are of 12 – 15 years of age when they leave the final year. The 96 hours of training over 3 years cannot be adequate for producing the confidence to start their own enterprises. Even the parents/ guardians or the banks cannot have the confidence to invest when the students are that young. What may be expected is

1. They find it easier to make their choice for future careers.

2. They do well in future careers.

3. They benefit from their learning experience, in their post education every day life. While we believe this to be happening, on the basis of impressions from the school and others, we have no survey or study made. When the system is extended to more schools it may be desirable to also fund a continuous study of such aspects by separate body. It must be appreciated that while it is natural to ask these questions, the cost in time and resources, to collect such information is very high and the project implementing group has no time or inclination to collect such information, when they are under constant pressure to achieve their plan targets.

From the non-formal students of course, we should expect come new enterprises. Here, the number of non-formal students was too small, if we exclude the sewing and knitting and poultry. While there is no formal study of the figures, reports talk of new poultry started by Mukhai poultry students, and sewing machines acquired and income generated by girl students, of the sewing classes. The sewing classes in the Loni school, were particularly successful in attracting a large number of non-school young girls, with the objective of supplementing their income. This was particularly due to the initiative of the part time instructor, Mrs. Walunj.

The following table shows the number of non formal students and the number of boys and girls among them.

School

Year

Boys

Girls

Upto June 1989

Loni

20

13

Dhamari

0

0

Mukhai

8

0

 

Upto June 1990

 

 

Loni

13

30

Dhamari

1

0

Mukhai

7

8

 

Upto June 1991

 

 

Loni

6

36

Dhamari

0

10

Mukhai

19

3

 

Upto June 1992

 

 

Loni

0

35

Dhamari

0

8

Mukhai

1

4

Total Loni

39

114

Total Dhamari

1

18

Total Mukhai

35

15

The above figures are not correct, but the best available. The error is due to a faulty format, where different schools have different interpretations at different times. The number of students does not tally with exits and new entrants.

But certain conclusions stand out even without the numbers. The number of non-formal girl students was very large and often the space was too small. Secondly, the Dhamari school was always poor in getting non-formal students. This was dependent on the interaction of the staff with the community. The staff was required to stay in the village. This was difficult to enforce as Dhamari was close to Pabal, where the staff had their normal residence. Thirdly, individual motivation of the instructors was more for the part time lady instructor at Loni, than for others.

The large number of boys in Mukhai was for poultry and the girls were all for sewing and knitting classes.

By and large the number of non-formal boys was below expectation and should be better. Poultry has great potential for contributing to the non-formal student number, the community service figures and also for new enterprises. The provision of buildings and other facilities is an important part of the scheme. The Loni School was provided with a substantial sized workshop building by the community. It is note worthy that having provided the funds and the floor and walls, the technical section built the steel trusses and steel door and windows and the work tables, and did the wiring for electrical services. This saved money and time for the donors and gave valuable experience and confidence to technical staff, and students.

The Dhamari school did somewhat better, when they got all students to contribute labour for the civil construction and the technical group did the trusses and doors, windows and the work tables.

The Mukhai already had the hall and the benches, but at some other stage they built a poultry shed entirely from their labour.   Vidyan Ashram campus has been built almost entirely by the students as part of their curriculum. This spirit of self help in providing the infrastructure is a very desirable feature of the rural technology system and is feasible for emulation by new institutions. It not only represents saving in the budget, but also training under real life situations.

There is a price we have paid. The buildings are not very impressive and posh. But I would rather have a functional building made by students than a quality building by outside contractors at an exorbitant cost. This is the spirit of self help.

The story of how the Mukhai school staff and boys designed and built steel truss roofing for local farmers for use with Mangalore tiles and how it started a wave of change in the community has already been recorded under “community involvement”.

The above are some instances of local initiative in solving local problems. There are others, Loni boys building water tank and piping for drinking water for the primary school in the same village, the Dhamari students building their own school workshop building and furniture, the Pabal girls building a cement slide, a steel see saw and a steel merry go round for the Balwadi kids, Mukhai students using steel structures for onion storage in place of the conventional wood and many others. While such initiatives don’t occur every month, they are not chance happenings either. The conclusion is inevitable, that given the skill, the facility and the will the local population and the school system together can and do produce innovative ideas.

Poultry Enterprises

All the schools had been requested to start poultry with a loan from the bank. The schools had to be prodded to make the applications to their local banks. However, the response was that the banks had no precedent for considering such proposals.

This is an important issue. All these schools are run by public registered bodies. The banks reportedly have no system of considering loans to them. This should be made possible so that the schools could undertake projects of development for which it can get grants from the community, government or some other agency or its own resources. The bank could have security from the school. But such loans would be needed for tiding over immediate cash needs as funds from agencies do not come at the appropriate times.

To overcome this problem and yet to keep the concept of loans, Vigyan Ashram gave loans to all the schools for starting 50 bird poultry. These were of orders of Rs 2500 to 3000 and were given mostly in kind.

The poultry activity in these schools had several objectives.


1. It was a fast growing industry and there were always some local boys who were interested in starting it
2. The loan were given by banks on our certificates.
3. It would bring non-formal students to the school.
4. It would increase the value of community services regularly at least by about Rs 1500 p.m. for a 50 bird poultry.
5. It has been found to be an excellent medium for teaching management principles for use in the unorganised sector. It has the performance indices, and process control. It has planning and speculation requirements. It is possible to show how many decisions can be based on past records rather than being purely speculative.

The disadvantages are that the poultry has to have supervision for 24 hours a day to protect against thefts as also for meeting the food and health needs of the birds. This was difficult for the schools. They had given places inside the class rooms to protect from thefts. Outdoor location was better from health and ventilation point of view, but this would have meant either the staff or some students needed to stay back overnight. The needs of the rural boys are minimal and they often stay overnight when motivated. Often some school staff also stay for night watch in schools. But the schools and the technical staff had not taken the poultry very seriously. Even after giving the loan, they were tardy in using the facilities.

Each school had overall carried out more than 10 batches of broilers. The data showed they could do that with some profit. Only the Mukhai school took the initiative to recruit a larger number of non-formal students and give them the poultry course and followed up on their certification by Vigyan Ashram and later started a few commercial operations.

By Dec 1990, the Situation was as Follows

School

Batches

Profitable

In Loss

Net Rs.

Loni

10

6

4

+303.0

Dhamari

11

8

3

+680.0

Mukhai

15

10

5

+270.0

Khamgaon

4

4

nil

+1487.5

The losses were often due to neglect, birds being eaten by cats/predators. All schools, except Khamgaon, had 50 bird poultry. Khamgaon started with 50 and later expanded to 100. Initially, the schools had many failures, mostly due to neglect. In later batches, they had more success in local marketing and getting good profits. The Khamgaon operation though very well conducted was discontinued because the headmaster did not allow continuation as he objected to the smell of the poultry and was asking for layer batches which are less economical and more difficult to manage.

Conclusion

The above information shows that such a system has considerable potential for local solution of simple problems, as a delivery system for new technology and for nurturing demands for new services until the market is commercially viable. The actual extent to which the schools reach the potential varies a lot and depends on the motivation of the staff and the pressure from the community.

Quality

Quality means different things to different people and in different situations. It is therefore necessary to explain what may be expected.

People are used to expect a certain type of product. For example, when we visit an exhibition of village crafts we expect to see artistic quality. The craftsmen making these products have developed skills over a long period and these are selected people, doing a selective job at suitable costs.

When we get a mason or a mechanic to do a certain job for us, we again expect a certain level of skill and quality. We pay him the prevalent rates and we insist on the prevalent quality.

Why quality should we expect when we want to give multi skills to village dropouts in a short introductory course? We can’t expect them to be as artistic as the village craftsman or as professional as his modern counterpart.

Our Definition of Quality for this Situation is as Follows

1. It should meet all the functional requirements of the product.
2. It should show the basic neatness related to geometry of the product. What we mean is parallels and verticals must be properly seen.
3. The safety aspects should be properly taken care of sharp edges, burrs etc. must be removed and so on.

When we compare the work of these students to that of the city professionals, I feel satisfied, even if they imply criticism. Because the unprompted comparison shows they are comparable. But I worry about quality when it does not meet the above stated 3 criteria.

There is a fourth weakness in most of the students, and that is they easily get complacent. There is a lack of persistence and constant effort at improvement.

Analysing the quality problem among the majority of the dropouts who are our target group, I have made the following observations, both among the staff and the students.

1. They do not generally have the habits of keeping things back in a proper place and condition.
2. They do not seem to notice any thing odd when object lines are supposed to be parallel or vertical but are not. For example the two legs of a chair, or corners of a stool. Either they do not notice or they do not mind.
3. They do not compare their performance with their own earlier work and see whether they are improving. Very often the first time they are very careful and never get the same quality again.

In this connection, the observation made by one of the headmasters. Shri Bhadale, that this course has improved the neatness in other subjects particularly in the geometrical drawings, is significant.

 

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