BANGALORE: The role and functioning of School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs) has come under fire of late due to political interference, lack of training, irregular meetings and so on. A public consultation programme was held here on Wednesday to discuss the conditions of government schools and SDMCs.
Organised by CIVIC Bangalore and Karnataka Child Rights Observatory, several points of contention were raised by the participants at the programme. Nina P Nayak, Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, urged people to become pro-active for ensuring an effective SDMC structure in schools.
“The implementation of SDMCs in schools is not happening properly. The locals have to follow up with repeated complaints to the Commissioner and Block Education Officers (BEOs). I am sure action will be taken, provided the problems are brought to their notice,” said Nayak, adding that this practice would show results in at least 2 or 3 years.
The main members of the School Development and Monitoring Committees will be nine parents whose children are studying in the schools.
The SDMC has been given powers and functions for ensuring that the schools are managed better. Most of the issues related to the academics and development activities of the schools will be addressed by the SDMCs.
Highlighting the role of SDMCs in the context of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, Kathyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee, CIVIC Bangalore, said: “The BEO, Deputy Director of Public Instruction and CEO of Zilla Panchayat should not be authorised to send notices to the School Development and Monitoring Committees as it is a voluntary body not receiving salaries or sitting fees.”
She added that with the coming of RTE, there is a “need for mandatory release of money/resources to the SDMC or its plans as government cannot cite lack of resources for fulfilling a fundamental right.”