Only those who change with time manage to survive in this world. This is the law of nature. The new generation needs to keep pace with the rapidly changing world. Although teachers and schools are responsible for the all-round development of students, parents also play a very important role in their growth. This is why in 2005, a “school management committee” was established in every school by the government where parents played an important role. In 10 years, this committee, with the help of society has made many schools digital, ISO nominated and knowledge based.
But despite all the conveniences and facilities provided by the government, the efforts put in by the teachers, and the help offered by the school management committee, one finds that many children still don’t attend school or drop out and many fail. If we want to change this scenario, every component of the society must support this cause. And if that happens, I can guarantee from my experience that the aim of the Pragat Shaikshnik Maharashtra is within our reach.
Like every year, in a 2017-18 as well, a training session was organised for the members of the school management committee. I was given the responsibility of training by the principal, Mrs Sangeeta Bhagwat. From the past experience it was known that all members did not attend the training session and this needed to change. We wanted a 100 % attendance. To achieve this, SMC’s OPD model was restructured.
1. Visiting ideal schools (Observation)
2. Takuka–level gatherings (Presentation)
3. Centre–level education council (Documentation)
Visiting ideal schools: – Every taluka has some ideal schools. It was important that the members of the committee visit such schools. For this purpose 67 ideal schools were identified in a district. It was so organised that each school would be visited by about 200 members.
Following were the criteria for the selection of the ideal schools:
1. Schools with ideal enrolment and attendance of students.
2. Digital schools
3. Developed schools
4. ISO nominated schools
5. Schools that were built through the efforts of the society
The first phase of the SMC training began in December 2017. The selected schools had done a thorough preparation for the one day training session. They were proud of the fact that other school members would be visiting their own school. They proved that they were ideal schools by spending their own money to organise a pavilion, food and seating arrangement.
The centre heads, principals and teachers made sure that 6 members from their own school would attend the training. Although we would have liked all 13608 (100%) members to attend, we were very happy to see that in the first phase itself, 11507 (85%) members attended. Considering the fact that that even school meetings were attended by very few members, such a large gathering of the members boosted our confidence.
Many newspapers took notice of the first training session. It got a lot of publicity. The members observed many innovative activities done by these ideal schools. Seeing the progress of the students, the stalls for educational material put up by the teachers and students, the innovative activities being implemented there, the PPT presentation of the actual facilities brought about through the intervention of SMC – the members got a lot of new information and inspiration. They also became aware of their rights and duties. We got a very positive feedback from many members. They wanted more such training sessions. Many wanted to put up similar stalls. All in all, even though we did not get 100 % attendance, we at the DIECPD and district Palghar team were quite satisfied with the results. Now we were looking forward to the taluka-level gathering because this is where we were going to see the result of the first phase of training.
Takuka–level gatherings :-
It was 2018, January. 10-12 days had passed after the first phase of training. DIECPD Palghar, had informed all talukas about the taluka-level training gatherings. One day was assigned to each taluka. It started with the taluka, Wada. All talukas had done very good planning. The SMC members had put up stalls for languages, mathematics, science, Varli paintings, crafts etc. Many members spoke about their experiences. We had expected 1806 members to attend the meet but actually 1835 members showed up.
Some of the issues discussed at the meet were:
• The aim of the training,
• Expectations of the members of SMC,
• The state of the district from the report of ‘National Editorial Survey’,
• The result of the survey conducted by Pratham called ASAR report,
• Learning levels of students according to talukas,
• The role towards child protection,
• School drop outs,
• The role SMC has played in solving some of these problems …etc
For the first time I saw parents thinking about their responsibilities with some seriousness. Even from a remote taluka like Mokhade, all 948 members attended the training gathering. The best gathering took place on March 14, 2018 in taluka Dahanu. A large pavilion was erected on the beach. Even here 2930 members attended instead of the expected 2862. It broke all records. It gave our belief a boost that if you want to do good work, you will always find support from the people.
One person who really impressed us was Mr Kamil Bari (Member SMC, Zilla Parishd school, Gungwade, Center – Badapokhran, taluka – Dahanu). Mrs Bhagwat found him with some paper notes in his hand at the mathematics stall set up in the gathering. When asked about the educational materials he was using, he solved a complex problem like the division of 1363 by 12 with the help of the notes with great ease and speed. He told us that he uses this technique not just in school but also with other children from the town after school with the help of other SMC members. We found out that post training, SMC members have been much more active. The learning level of the school children in Math is now 98 %. What has made this possible? Only teachers? No….It’s because of the involvement and cooperation of the SMC members. Today Kamil Bari has become a role model for all SMC members. This is indeed very special and inspiring. Many such gatherings happened in every taluka and every meet had a 100 % attendance.
Centre – level education council:-
All centres in all talukas held the education council of teachers and members on the same day on March 31, 2018. This, according to Mrs Bhagwat would help all workshops to follow the same direction. Even at these meets there was a very big turnout. 13254 members attended it. A lot was achieved at this education council.
1. All members got to know the school development plan and why it is needed.
2. Every development plan was made by members and teachers together. A long-term plan was also made.
3. Now in Palghar DIECPD, 2268 schools have submitted their yearly and long-term plans .This is going to help define measures for the progress of each school.
4. It helped to strengthen the concepts of equality, quality and people’s participation.
5. The SMC members made a map of schools and educational facilities as well as school premises.
6. Members became more aware of admission procedure and infrastructure.
7. Members got to know about the educational facilities available for CWSN children.
8. The roles of migration and drop outs were explained to the members as reasons why children don’t attend schools.
9. An action plan was made by teachers and members for admission procedure, infrastructure, CWSN children and children not attending school.
All in all, through this education council the members experienced many things which will be used by them in their own school to develop it. It is true that without co-operation, there will be no progress. It was not an easy task to train 13608 members of SMC in 3 phases, but under the leadership of Mrs Bhagwatand with the cooperation of parents, teachers and students, it became possible.
Author: Tanaji Daware, district co coordinator, SMC training, DIECPD, Palghar District
Translation and Editing: Samata.shiksha Team