Villagers enthused as HMs raise school issues at grama sabha in Tamil Nadu
For the first time, School Management Committee (SMC) members and headmasters of several schools participated in grama sabha meetings across Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
Published: 03rd October 2022 04:04 AM | Last Updated: 03rd October 2022 04:04 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI/TIRUCHY: For the first time, School Management Committee (SMC) members and headmasters of several schools participated in grama sabha meetings across Tamil Nadu on Sunday. This follows instructions from the school education department to this effect.
Several resolutions, adopted in the SMC meetings on September 30, were passed in the gram sabha meetings, including on appointment of teachers for vacant posts, building adequate toilets, upgrading schools, and appointing sanitary workers. The teaching processes and measures to reduce dropouts also came up for discussion.
“Instead of the school authorities writing to the department or the collector regarding the problems, discussing them in the grama sabha meeting makes it the problem of the community. Once the resolution is sent to the department concerned, they should inspect and execute the resolution to ensure that the democracy at the lower level is also functioning well,” said S Moorthy, a school teacher from Palayakottai in Tiruppur.
In Tiruchy, TNIE found great enthusiasm among villagers who were able to have a direct conversation with the school heads. M Senthil, the headmaster of Maniyankurichi Government Higher Secondary School, said staff were able to talk to parents, who had not enrolled their children and explain to them the schemes and scholarships provided by the government.
A parent who attended the meeting said when headmasters raise the issues in such public spaces, the officials will be under pressure to quickly resolve them. E Rajashree, the headmistress of C Ayyampalayam Higher Secondary School, said they were able to inform parents about the increasing use of tobacco products among students, which schools were not able to control.
P Satish Kumar, Panchayat Secretary, Siruganur said they witnessed enthusiastic participation from parents as they were able to voice their demands.
However, some teachers said they were not informed of the meeting in advance and could not attend. Data collated by the school education department showed that on September 30, SMC meetings were held in 86.3 per cent (32,339 out of 37,461) of schools with more than 80% of members participating.
While the formation of SMCs in all schools was mandated in the Right to Education Act, of 2009, only a handful of schools had them till the school education department started the ‘Nam Palli, Nam Perumai’ initiative to reconstitute the committees in April.