Education For Change

Thermax believes that corporate organisations should think beyond profit and look out for the well being of society. Guided by the vision of its founder Chairman, Rohinton Aga – ‘profit is not just a set of figure but of values’ – Thermax has over the years worked on a modest CSR agenda. The company tries to fulfil its obligations to a wider circle of stakeholders including communities in which it operates.

Heaters are used for heating process fluids and thermal cracking in chemical & petrochemical sectors. These fired heaters are generally designed to American Petroleum Institute(API) codes like API-560, API-530, etc.

These units are built in modularised form to suit delivery requirements. The range of fired heaters offered by Thermax can suit a variety of process requirements and plant layouts. Depending on the application, the choice can be between ‘vertical cylindrical’ or ‘box-type furnace’ designs.“Where a child comes from should not decide who s/he can become.”

The justice and empathy in the words above justify the existence of Thermax Foundation. Thermax Foundation believes that education is the greatest leveller of social inequality, and the only sustainable way to ensure equity in education is to improve the public education system.

In recent years, people from low-income urban communities began transferring their children from government schools to low-fee or ‘affordable’ private schools. This was in response to the poor quality of education in government schools and the realization of the need for English medium education. Recognizing the insufficiently available English-medium schools, Thermax Foundation partnered with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), PimpriChinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and Akanksha Foundation to initiate English medium public schools in Pune.

Under this public-private partnership (PPP), the Municipal Corporation is responsible for providing the infrastructure, regular books and stationery, mid-day meal and school uniforms for the students. The Akanksha Foundation is responsible for teacher recruitment, training and setting goals, curriculum and also the entire administration of the schools. Thermax Foundation takes care of the entire funding, government liaison and ensures smooth functioning of the schools. The five schools currently being run and managed under this PPP are-

S.No Municipal Schools  under PPP Partnership with Year of adoption
1 K C Thackeray School,
PMC 2007
2 SavitribaiPhule School,
PMC 2008
3 Matoshri School,
PMC 2009
4 Anantrao Pawar Memorial School, Bopodi PMC 2009
5 Acharya VinobaBhave Secondary School, BhavaniPeth PMC 2013

The school project aims to achieve the following key goals:

  • Demonstrate that it is possible for children from low-income communities to achieve academic success when given excellent education in an enabling environment
  • Showcase that almost within the budget Government spends on a municipal schools, with proper management and administration, better learning outcome can be achieved.

The partnership began with one Municipal Corporation (PMC) and one school in 2007 and Thermax currently funds five schools in PMC.
Additionally, Thermax Foundation through Akanksha has also established an Alumni Support Program so that the children are well supported even after they leave the schools. The objective of our initiative is not that the students should complete their 10th Standard but to support them till they secure a stable livelihood and bring them out of the poverty cycle.

Some of the achievements:

K C Thackeray VidyaNiketan School, for the 3rd successive year has achieved not only 100% students passing in the SSC exams but also outperforming its own result. The achievement over the past 3 years are as follows:

Year 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
No of Students 58 61 59 61 57
Pass Percentage 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
First Division & Distinctions 41 (71%) 47 (77%) 55 (93%) 47 (77%) 34 (58%)
2nd Divisions 17 (29%) 14 (23%) 4 (7%) 14 (23%) 23 (42%)

The school has been selected to be part of the global network of Ashoka Changemaker Schools. Ashoka Changemaker Schools are a global network to identify, connect and support innovative schools around the world and equip young people with empathy, teamwork, leadership and creative skills to work successfully in rapidly changing environments.

Thermax Foundation believes and demonstrates that it is possible to get excellent results with children from low-income communities through an excellent teacher. Convinced that great teachers are not always born but made, Thermax Foundation partnered with the local government to set up a year-long professional development programme for teachers in government schools and a select few low-income private schools to share the learning from the success of ‘The School Project’ and to strengthen the public education system in the city. This program is called ‘Leadership Institute For Teachers (LIFT)’. LIFT is designed, supported and implemented entirely by an in-house team at Thermax Foundation.

Since 2013, the LIFT team has worked with over 240 teachers across 40 schools impacting close to 8000 children in PMC Schools across Pune. While last year it worked only in Primary English Medium Schools, in the coming year it intends to work with around 100 teachers across Pune Municipal Corporation schools spanning across primary, kindergarten and Marathi medium schools. The idea of LIFT, in the short run, is to advance the skills of teachers in the classrooms that need them the most. In the long run, we hope for LIFT to work alongside with government training institutions to strengthen their capacities. Each passing year, as a result of the LIFT experience, we record a positive impact on student learning outcomes across PMC classrooms and we see teachers who’re now more inspired to teach and build more joyful classrooms for their students.

Providing better infrastructure, building more schools, persuading children to come to school, providing adequate condition for them to stay in schools, these are important inputs. However, all these inputs would be meaningless without improving the quality of education, without upgrading the knowledge and skill level of the teachers and making learning fun, so that an environment is created where children want to learn.

The Lift Programme would continue till the academic year ending 31st March 2018.

The Thermax-Akanksha partnership which began in 1999 when Thermax helped Akanksha begin its operations in Pune has steadily grown over the years. In 2007-2008 this partnership took on many new initiatives. Thermax has been supporting the Akanksha Foundation to improve the lives of underprivileged children.

The School initiatives undertaken by Thermax Foundation are being managed along with Akanksha. The Akanksha Foundation is responsible for recruitment of teachers and staff, their training and ensuring improved learning outcomes and over all administration of schools. Thermax Foundation is responsible for taking care of the entire funding, liaison with the Government and also ensuring smooth functioning of the schools.

In Thermax’s new corporate office in Pune, space has been allocated for the Akanksha office and its learning centre. Here, through non formal education children are helped to grow up with self-esteem and good values so that they are equipped to earn and improve the quality of their lives.

The Akanksha Mentor Programme was also introduced in Pune for the first time. This programme started in November 2007 when a group of six employees from Thermax became the mentors for six Akanksha older level kids. The mentors are friends, philosophers and guides for the kids who meet once each week to discuss personality development, academic motivation and career guidance. It has been a tremendously enlightening experience for all the mentors and mentees so far. Thermax encourages its employees to be a mentor to the adolescent kids from Akanksha Centres.

The School initiatives undertaken by Thermax Foundation are jointly managed by Akanksha and Thermax Foundation, where Akanksha Foundation is responsible for recruitment of teachers and staff for the schools and also for training of the teachers, social workers, school leaders and other staff involved.

The Teach For India (TFI) programme which began in 2009 aims to reduce India’s educational iniquity. It places India’s outstanding college graduates and young professionals for two years as full time teachers in municipal and low-income schools. This is another model that Thermax supports to improve the quality of education. It places academically bright and outstanding college graduate and professionals in the existing education system and tries to improve quality while dealing with the everyday challenges.

Since 2011, Thermax has been the platinum sponsor for TFI, supporting 45 fellows in 10 Schools under TFI. From the Financial Year 2015-16, considering the growing need, Thermax Foundation Board has sponsored as many as 100 fellows in the FY 2015-16 and will continue to support a minimum of 45 fellows since then. Thermax not only supports the programme financially, but also provides infrastructure and government liaison when required.

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