Published: 21st March 2022
Enthusiastic parents learn about School Management Committees at various meetings held across TN govt schools
At government schools of Tamil Nadu, meetings were held to acquaint parents with School Management Committees (SMCs)
Instead of students, parents thronged government schools across Tamil Nadu to participate in a meeting organised to create awareness about School Management Committees (SMCs). This was part of the Nam Palli Nam Perumai initiative that aims to increase parents' participation in school activities.
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, School Management Committees (SMCs) — consisting of elected representatives of the local authority, parents or guardians of children and teachers — should be formed in every school. Out of 20 committee members, at least 15 should be parents or guardians. More than 50 per cent should be women. It must also provide representation to parents or guardians of children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections.
Despite being an important part of the RTE Act, only a few schools have actively functioning SMCs at present. SMCs can monitor the workings of the school and the utilisation of grants. They can also prepare and recommend a school development plan.
In various schools, parents enthusiastically participated in meetings held on Sunday, March 20, where teachers explained the constitution and functioning of the SMCs. "Formation of such committees will help improve the rapport between parents and teachers. Apart from talking about SMCs, teachers also spoke about the various government schemes which our children could make use of," said S Gunasekaran, a parent who participated in the meeting.
Around 130 parents participated in the meeting held at Chennai Corporation Middle School in Mogappair. "Many parents were willing to be part of the committee. The parents requested to appoint a permanent sanitary staff for the school and also teachers for LKG and UKG classes, apart from additional classrooms. The local body representative, who was also present, said he would take immediate steps to fulfil the demands," said S Krishnaveni, headmaster of the school. She added that parents and teachers also made a contribution to the Puravalar Scheme, which would be used for teaching students' extracurricular activities.
According to Uma Maheswari, a teacher at the MBN Government Girls' Higher Secondary School in Chromepet, "Effective functioning of SMCs will help improve the public opinion regarding government schools. When the number of students enrolled in government schools has gone up in the aftermath of the pandemic, such an initiative to ensure that parents are participating in the activities of schools is a welcome one."