SMC

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School Management Committees: Successes, Challenges and Opportunities

Section 21 of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE), mandates the formation of School Management Committees (SMCs) in all elementary government, government-aided schools and special category schools in the country. The RTE Act envisions an SMC as the basic unit of a decentralised model of governance with active involvement of parents in the school’s functioning. Read more »

Publication Name: 
School Management Committees: Successes, Challenges and Opportunities
Publication Author: 
Accountability Initiative and Central Square Foundation

Achieving transparency in pro-poor education incentives

What are the best ways to ensure that scholarships, conditional cash transfers, free school meals reach their intended beneficiaries? Read more »

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Pedagogy to train SMC members needs to be Critical Pedagogy

Posted on:22-04-14

Anthony Chettri, Accountability Initiative

Community based organizations such as School Management Committees (SMCs) have a significant role in functioning of schools. The recently introduced RTE Act has made the formation of SMCs mandatory. SMCs, if empowered with proper training based on critical pedagogy, can really play a greater role in school governance. Read more »

Strengthening SMC to make SDP– Should be an Empowering Process

Posted on:10-02-14

Anthony Chettri, Accountability Initiative

I had recently attended two training programmes on Strengthening the School Management Committee[1] (SMC) to make an effective School Development Plan. One of it was at the state level, wherein all the District Education Officers of the state attended and the other was at block level, where in block level extension officers for education including some head masters and cluster coordinators were present.  The major objective of this program was to train the officers to support SMC members with respect to access, equity, quality and community participation, while SMCs develop the School Development Plan (SDP). All of them are directed towards empowering individuals in the management of school related activities. Read more »

Notes from the field: School Management Committees – Somebody Else's Problem Field

Posted on:19-11-13

Mehjabeen Jagmag, Accountability Initiative

“The Somebody Else’s Problem field is much simpler, more effective (in making something properly invisible) … This is because it relies on people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain.”

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Three years ago, the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act[1] placed significant responsibilities on elected parents of students, representatives from the school staff (including the headmaster) and the community when they created School Management Committees[2] (SMCs) in every government school. Read more »

Community participation and School functioning- Evidence from DRC Survey data

Posted on:13-06-13

Vibhu Tewary, Accountability Initiative

Community participation is deeply interwoven in the implementation of the The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Every school has to have a School Management Committee (SMC) which consists of members from the local community and in theory; this SMC approves plans, signs cheques and monitors the school performance[1].  The SMC (and the local community as a whole) form an important part of the accountability chain as they supplement inspections by higher rung officials, with their regular monitoring. However, anecdotal evidence, based on my field visits, suggests that most teachers do not come to school regularly as parents and community members are not concerned about the school’s functioning. Read more »

For RTE grievances dial 1

Posted on:04-12-12

Avani Kapur, Accountability Initiative 

An essential pre-requisite to any rights-based approach is the necessity of ensuring its enforceability. What does a citizen do in case their rights are violated or not adhered to? Who does one complain to if the right is not being implemented? Despite two and a half years since the passing of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the state is still struggling to come up with effective grievance redressal mechanisms (GRMs) for the Act. Read more »

A note from India’s book: on Pakistan’s Right to Education

Posted on:29-11-12

Mehjabeen Jagmag, Accountability Initiative

Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill1earlier this November. Like in India, education features on the concurrent list in Pakistan -with the Federal government and provinces sharing responsibilities. Pakistan’s RTE Bill is a step towards making education free and compulsory for 5 to 16 year olds in those schools established by the federal government and local government in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), and an attempt to urge all provinces towards uniformly enforcing the implementation of this right. Read more »

Decentralised Education Delivery: Do GPs hold lessons for SMCs, Part 2

Posted on:31-08-12

Vibhu Tewary, Accountability Initiative

In my previous blog post (which can be found here) I made the argument that a community which is directly contributing to the school’s functioning, in some way or the other, would be more likely to hold School Monitoring Committees (henceforth SMCs) accountable. This would lead to better functioning SMCs, and therefore better overall school planning, in terms of utilization of funds, and school performance, in terms of teacher and student attendance and total enrolments. To analyse if such a relationship exists, we would need data on SMCs functioning and community participation. In the PAISA survey conducted in 2011[1], we had collected data on community contribution and how often the SMCs meet (among many other things). Using the frequency of SMC meetings as a proxy for its functioning, I carried out some basic data analysis with the two variables. Read more »

Decentralised Education Delivery- Do GPs holds lessons for SMCs? Part 1

Posted on:20-07-12

Vibhu Tewary, Accountability Initiative

A theme that has been emerging on this blog in the past month has been the curious case of the School Management Committees (SMCs) - the last but crucial leg of the quality education marathon. Laina Emmanuel and Yamini Aiyar(1) have discussed both problems and solutions to the problems that the SMCs face, namely those of understanding responsibilities and roles, and of implementing plans. Here, we can see two types of issues- one is empowering the SMCs, and Yamini Aiyar suggests a few interventions to aid capacity building. Additionally, the other problem relates to increasing the accountability of these SMCs towards the community and the children, and to incentivising their proper functioning. If we want a truly decentralised system, as the RTE mandate suggests(2), we require decentralized accountability as well as better incentives which would push SMCs to perform better. The decentralised accountability would be in addition to the centralized monitoring (say, through real-time management information systems, as Yamini Aiyar suggests), and would involve the communities keeping SMCs in check. This would create a more holistic form of accountability with pressures from both top and bottom. Along with accountability, incentivising better SMC functioning would be also critical. Read more »