Saajha

Saajha

The RTE Act envisages parent participation in school governance through elected bodies at the school level called School Management Committees (SMCs).

The Opportunity

The RTE Act envisages parent participation in school governance through elected bodies at the school level called School Management Committees (SMCs). Citizen involvement through SMCs can help improve the quality of inputs, processes and even outcomes in schools. However, SMCs face significant challenges that prevent effective functioning. Lack of awareness, entrenched social hierarchies, and poor capacity of parents are some factors impacting the effectiveness of SMCs. Effectively training and empowering SMC members can help make parent participation contribute effectively to governance and learning in a school.

The Model

Saajha is a not-for-profit organization working towards enhancing community and parental
engagement in Government schools. Towards this, Saajha engages with the School
Management Committees (SMCs). Saajha started its operations in November 2013, incubated
under Pratham Delhi, in 57 schools under North and East Delhi Municipal Corporations. In July,
2015, Saajha expanded its operations to impact an additional 30 schools under South Delhi
Municipal Corporation. In these Impact schools, a Saajha facilitator builds leadership capabilities of the SMC members, engages with the school management and teachers, and provides on-ground support to enable effective parent participation.

Potential for Systemic Impact

In August 2015, Saajha partnered with the Delhi Government to impact 1100+ SMCs across the state. Through this engagement with the Delhi government, Saajha seeks to institutionalize SMC training programs, developing contextual training modules and working with the Delhi SCERT. Saajha has developed a guidebook/workbook, which has now reached every government school in Delhi, and is also piloting an app to better manage SMCs across the state. Eventually, Saajha hopes to take the intervention to other states as well.