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Parents & Principals to have more say in School’s Issues

With the goal to facilitate public participation in school management, the Delhi Government has decided to allow parents of students studying in a school, to contest elections to managing committees of that school. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has asked all the schools in the city to invite parents for elections to School Management Committees (SMC). 12 parents will be elected from each school. “At least 12 parents would be elected to each school’s managing committee which would be headed by the principal of the institution. The area legislator, a teacher representing the school’s teachers and an educationist would also be members of the committee,” a senior Delhi government official said. “The parents elected to the committee will have the task of keeping an eye on the functioning of schools, monitoring the attendance of both teachers and students, analysing the progress of the students and suggesting changes in governance of a particular school,” he added.

There are a total of 924 government-run schools in the city and the government provides financial aid to another 221 schools. Therefore, a total of 1,145 schools will elect their management committees. The last set of SMCs were elected in March 2013.  The SMCs are expected help utilize the money running the school, and also monitor a variety of functions as well. According to the mandate, the elected representatives are also supposed to motivate and help children in their belts and in the vicinity of schools to join school as per the Right to Education Act.

Indian students take lessons from their teacher inside a classroom at a school in Calcutta, India, Thursday, April 1, 2010. A law making primary education compulsory in India came into effect Thursday, opening the door for millions of impoverished children who have never made it to school because their parents could not afford the fees or because they were forced to work instead. (AP Photo/Sucheta Das)

The SMCs are expected help utilize the money running the school, and also monitor a variety of functions as well.

In other news, the Delhi government also decided to do away with “administrative formalities” for routine matters in its schools and give more autonomy to principals for removing bottlenecks so that basic facilities can be provided to the students at the earliest. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that allocation of a major share of its budget to the education sector was not a challenge but the bigger challenge is its utilisation. Terming the technicalities in the administrative processes as a roadblock for progress in the education sector, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “due to administrative formalities for routine work the files keep on moving from one department to another and students suffer due to delay in the process.”
Mr Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister said, “a principal told me that there is a certain fund of Rs. 5000 which all the schools get from government but principals have to take approval from the Deputy Director’s officer for encashing that. Now, why do we need an approval for something which has already been approved.” The move is aimed at providing more autonomy to school principals. Other measures are being taken as well, to ensure that corruption is eroded from the system, and increase the efficiency of the agencies providing security and sanitation facilities to any school.

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