FOREST TRAINING SCHOOL, VALPOI


Introduction
With the advent of scientific management of India’s forests, training Institutions such as Forest Training School (FTS) Valpoi, have been at the forefront of providing quality education and practical training for the Forest Guards and Foresters.
Situated in a picturesque and sylvan campus of an area of 10 ha, in Valpoi about 52 km away from Panaji, The Forest Training School, Valpoi was inaugurated on 3rd August 1982 by Shri Pratap Singh RaojiRane the then Chief Minister of Goa. Since then the Institute has carried out the task of training the Forest Guards and Foresters who are in fact the foundation of the Forest Department.

Mandate
To impart training to the Forest Guards and Foresters to transform an ordinary human being to a professionally trained personal who should be capable enough to play the dual role of protecting Goa’s vast natural resource as well as execute various developmental works such as raising of forest nurseries and plantations, as well as nurturing them into forests.


Courses offered
1. 06 Months Compulsory Training to Freshly recruited Forest Guards.
2. 12 MonthsCompulsory Training to Freshly recruited Foresters.
3. Short Term In service Refresher Courses (from time to time)

Curriculum
A list of major subjects is reproduced below.
• Silviculture
• Forest utilization
• Forest survey
• Forest mensuration and management
• Accounts and Procedure
• Forest protection and law
• Soil science & conservation
• Wildlife management & gardening
• Forest botany
• Forest engineering
• Social forestry
Physical fitness for a forester is something that cannot be overemphasized. The FTS pays adequate importance to this in its curriculum. All working days of the trainee forester commence with rigorous physical exercises in the morning for 45 minutes. In the evenings, the games period is also compulsory. The institution has facilities for all major games like football, cricket, volleyball etc. Annual sports event is conducted here with great enthusiasm and gusto. Fostering sportsman spirit is as vital as maintenance of sound physical health for any forest officer.

Tours form an integral part of the curriculum. In so far as forestry is an applied science with moorings in a wide spectrum of theoretical concepts, a sound appreciation of ground realities is as important as understanding the theoretical aspects. Forestry management principles transcend state and even national boundaries. FTS has, therefore, in its tour schedule included a number of states other than Goa. Each tour is followed by a tour examination which is assessed as seriously as any other examination.

Keeping in view the threats to which forest wealth is prone to, the FTS in the process of training foresters in the maintenance and handling of arms and ammunition. The training will be imparted taking help from the Police Training School at Valpoi. Here also, the competence and performance of each trainee will be tested and marks awarded.

In keeping with the present trend of Information Technology, being the most current and most efficacious tool in all modern management sectors, FTS has introduced computer courses also for the trainees. It is proposed to make the course more comprehensive in the years to come.


Assessment of Trainees
Assessment of individual trainees is done on a daily and continuous basis. Examinations, for which rigorous and detailed rule have been drawn and are being enforced strictly, form only a part of the assessment scheme. The field exercises, outstation tours, cultural & sports events all of which form part of the course give ample opportunity to the faculty members to assess the trainees performance, competencies and attitudes. Trainees after attending all the different components of the curriculum and getting at least 40% marks in each paper and 50% aggregate are awarded certificates. A trainee securing 75% and above aggregate is given two advance increments subject to approval of the Government.

Administrative set up
The FTS is headed by a Principal who is of the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests. He is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the school. He is assisted by two instructors of the rank of Range Forest Officers and two Assistant instructors of the rank of Dy. Range Forest Officer. There is also PT & Games Instructor who is an Ex-Army personnel or staff from Police Training College, Valpoi.
The Deputy Conservator of Forest (Research) is the ex-officio Director of the school.
The supporting and assisting staff is as follows:
Accountant :1 U.D.C :1 Forest Guard :4
L.D.C :1 Peon :1 Cook :1
Mess helper :1 Driver :1 Dhobi :1
Sweeper :1 Orderly Peon :1
Despite its infancy, the FTS has been able to register an enviable accomplishment both in quality and quantity of training in the forestry in Goa. This has been made possible assets strong in hand; the FTS stands to gain greater and greater heights in the days to come.


Statistics
Since its inception, FTS has trained 541 Forest Guards in 32 batches and 73 Foresters in 7 batches including two in-service training programs for Foresters.
In addition to the regular training of forest guards and foresters, this training school also conducts short term training and refresher courses from time to time.

Facilities
1. Administrative Block
2. Class room
3. Visitors Lounge
4. Trainee Dormitories
5. Mess
6. Library
7. Football Ground
8. Volley Ball Ground
9. Badminton Court
10. Auditorium

HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES

Refresher courses for the field level staff have been organized by the Forest Training School, Valpoi. The courses have the objective of refreshing the knowledge of the field level staff i.e. the Foresters and Forest Guards, who are actually working in the field. The courses aims at making the field staff aware of the latest know-how and working techniques in the field of forestry so that the same can be applied in the field for better results and compatible to the national standards. The courses also aims at active participation of the staff during the deliberations so that they can extract more and more from the experts and clarify their doubts. The topics covered during the course are:
1. Nursery technology, seed technology, plantation technology
2. Mangroves - management, importance
3. Forest Acts, Forest Policy, Environment Acts
4. Framing / investigation of offence cases
5. Social Forestry, Forest Management, JFM
6. Soil conservation measures
7. Application and uses of bio-fertilizers
8. Bamboos, Medicinal plants, other NTFP’s
9. Eco-tourism
10. Botanisation, field visits etc.
15 staff from different ranges is selected for participating in the course. The resource persons are the senior officers of the department having vast experience and expertise in forest and related fields. Eminent persons / experts from other field, departments and organizations, NGO’s are also invited to share their knowledge with the trainees.