On September 28, 2015, Accountability Initiative (Centre for Policy Research) and Central Square Foundation co-hosted a convening on School Management Committees (SMCs). This event brought together thought leaders, decision makers and representatives of various NGOs and funders, to discuss issues and solutions pertaining to SMC implementation in government schools.
Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research delivered the keynote address at the event and raised some pertinent questions on the role that SMCs can play in improving accountability in government schools.
Eminent experts like Prof. Avinash K Singh (Head of Department- Educational Policy, National University of Educational Planning and Administration), Atishi Marlena (Advisor to Minister of Education, Government of Delhi), Mary Punnoose (Chief Functionary, Prajayatna) and Pritha Ghosh(Program Lead- Strategy and Implementation, Accountability Initiative) shared their perspectives in a discussion on “Systemic issues influencing the effectiveness of School Management Committees and scope for enhanced community involvement”. They discussed how entrenched social hierarchies, private school prevalence, institutional mechanisms and governmental efforts for capacity building of communities can impact effectiveness of School Management Committees. The panel also pondered the involvement of communities in school education beyond SMCs towards improved school inputs & processes, inclusive education, and enhanced learning outcomes.
Saajha, technical partners for the event, facilitated a session to share practitioners’ perspectives of SMC challenges and opportunities for reform.
Central Square Foundation also launched its report Empowering Communities, Enhancing Education: Strengthening School Management Committees in India, at this event.