Patuck Polytechnic Trust chairman Adil Patuck: 60% of our students are from families with no formal education
Mumbai-based Patuck Polytechnic Trust offers dual-medium schooling, along with technical training that has options of college education. The institution focuses in enhancing the skill levels of eligible people from the economically weaker session of the society thus creating growth possibilities. Adil Patuck, Chairman of the institution, delves into the Trust philosophy and elaborates on the vision of bringing in the much needed change, in a chat with Pankaj Joshi.
We believe in preserving the environment. So, we have our own composting facilities. The solar power module generates 60-75 units a day, which covers 15 per cent of the campus usage. We are currently working with the BMC in the area of disaster management.
Can you elaborate on the formation of the trust?
Patuck Polytechnic Trust is in its 87th year. It was founded by my great-uncle, Rustamba Patuck. He was a textile merchant who for long time was based out of Manchester. In the latter part of his life, he came back to India with the desire to serve the society. He did not believe in doles in any form. His aim was to give a sustained dignified life to people, and concentrated on improving the skill sets. The technical school concept was not so common in those days. People would normally aspire for desk jobs. But he wanted to make them work according to their skills. The Trust was formed in 1932 and the Technical Institute began in 1936 with just nine students. Unfortunately, he expired in the very same year.
Till late 80s, our student strength would be in the range of 300 and between standard 8-11. The objective was to give better and integrated education to those who completed their seventh grade in Municipal schools (the maximum education provided by those schools). We aimed at inculcating dignity of labour, and entrepreneurship. Students from our institute directly secured an apprentice in workshops. Some would pursue further technical studies and a few have even become entrepreneurs.
In the early 90s, Maganbhai Gala, a builder donated a building to the trust. Thanks to him, with this additional space, we have embarked on the next level of growth. Now we offer education from nursery till graduation. At present, we are in the process of obtaining permission for post-graduate education in commerce.
What is the current student strength?
Our student strength adds up to more than 4,000 currently. Nursery and pre-primary strength is 360, and primary session has 470 students. In the secondary segment (English medium) is 660 and in vernacular 560. Our junior college has three streams—science with 330 students, commerce with 480 students and the vocational stream has around 300.
For B.Com stream, there are about 850 students and another 90 in the specialised banking/ insurance course of B.Com. Our BMS strength is around 160. In all this, we get government aid for vernacular school; the science and technical streams of junior college. For the M.Com, the university stipulated strength is 60 seats, which we expect to reach in two-three years of operation.
What are the facilities being offered in the campus?
The campus is spread across three acres and has a built-up area of 60,000 square feet. Today, the classes are held between 7 am to 6 pm. We plan to conduct the proposed post graduate classes between 6 pm and 9 pm. All our classrooms are smart classes. We adopted the smart class philosophy six-seven years ago, and we are among one of the few schools in Mumbai to do so. We have a reading room of 1,000 sq feet, and has multiple laboratories – apart from physics, chemistry and biology labs. We have facility catering to electronics, electrical equipment, mechanical activity, automobiles, building maintenance etc. A workshop with lathe machine and even a CNC machine is also part of our facility. We have an auditorium with a seating capacity up to 500.
We believe in preserving the environment. So, we have our own composting facilities which generate the manure for our garden. The solar power module generates 60-75 units a day, which covers 15 per cent of the campus usage. We are currently working with the BMC in the area of disaster management, one of the very few to do so.
Can you elaborate on the student profile?
As you are aware, our students are from the economically weaker segment. The estimate is that 60 per cent of students are from families where no one has had formal education. Therefore, you can guess the enormity of courage they took and the kind of challenge they face at home while persuading education. With a heart brimming with happiness we watch these students securing higher marks and the result is 90 per cent and above in SSC
(Std X). Though the vernacular and technical stream students come directly from Municipal schools, it is proud to note that we have 90 per cent results in these category as well.
What is your staff strength?
The total staff strength is 185, of which teaching staff is around 130, where nursery has eight, primary nine and secondary 32 in the aggregate. Our junior college has 20 teaching staff in science, 12 in commerce and 17 in the vocational stream. The senior college teaching staff is around 28. In addition, we have 56 support staff across non-teaching functions. In the two decades since we have broadened our education portfolio, we have had around 5,000 placements across different areas – technical workshops, medical laboratories, auto workshops, and maintenance units. As entrepreneurs, some of our students have been spectacularly successful.