In order to improve the overall standard of education and functioning of the 31 ashramshalas (residential schools for tribals), the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Ghodegaon, has introduced a special programme to strengthen the School Management Committees (SMCs). Ayush Prasad, project director, ITDP Ghodegaon, said the SMCs will ensure that schools undertake steps towards improvement of the quality of education.
SMCs are statutory bodies constituted under the Right to Education Act, 2009, which have to ensure the effective functioning of the schools, and welfare of the children. SMCs are expected to solve the local problems schools face.
SMCs play an important role in improving the quality of education at government-run schools in the National Capital Region (NCR). Members of the SMCs are usually the parents, people’s representatives, educationists, members of self-help groups, etc.
“We have been working towards strengthening the SMCs and increasing their participation. We are motivating and training them,” said Prasad.
Capacity-building exercises will be conducted for SMCs, which will cover three fronts — functions, functionaries and funds. Prasad said functions of the SMCs are defined in the Right To Education Act and various government resolutions. “It is important that SMC members have a good educational background. We have allocated Rs 5 lakh per SMC, apart from a corpus of nearly Rs 3 crore at ITDP, which schools can use, if there is a shortage of funds,” he added.
The SMCs have been asked to prepare a development plan to use the unspent corpus, and make fresh demands. Only work that benefits students will be taken up, said Prasad.
“The purchases will be effected by September and new constructions, if any, will be undertaken between October and December,” he added.
In order to ensure that SMC meetings are held regularly, it has been suggested that committees in each school conduct a meeting on the 25th of every month.
Also, a calendar listing nearly 200 progarmmes has been drawn up to help students express themselves beyond academics.
Prasad said this would be the first time such a capacity-building exercise was taken up at government schools.