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Democratizing Governance of Public Schools | Samarthya

location_on India

We work towards making the governance of public schools more inclusive & representative by fostering voice & agency in local stakeholders.

We, in the context of public education, foster voice and agency in local stakeholders enabling them to represent their interests and to hold their leaders to account. We activate School Management Committees (SMCs), which is a law mandated local platform for local stakeholders around a public school to collectively dialogue and act.

HundrED 2023
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

HundrED 2022

2017

Established

40K

Children/users

1

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Target group
All
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
Parents have started seeing the suggested changes being implemented. Increased interactions with teachers has helped parents become more engaged with the child’s academics.
Mr. Sanjeev Tomar, Former Head Teacher, Government Primary School, Kundli, Sonipat, Haryana

About the innovation

What is Democratizing Governance of Public Schools | Samarthya?

What we do?

We transform the governance of government schools by making it more inclusive and representative. We do so by either directly fostering voice and agency in the local stakeholders to participate effectively in the governance of Government schools or supporting partner governments or organizations in creating processes . This local stakeholder set includes the parent representatives, student representatives, teacher representatives and local authority representatives.

Section 21 of the Right To Education Act (RTE) mandates the formation of School Management Committees (SMCs) in all government run and aided schools.

Why We Chose SMCs to transform Governance?

Structure, By Design, Promotes Participation And Representation:

The SMC structure, by design, is meant to strengthen public participation with 75% of the committee comprising of parents who are elected to be the representatives of the rest of the parent body.

Diversity and Inclusion:

A school management committee comprises of a diverse stakeholder set, often including the parent representatives, principal, a teacher representative, a local authority representative, a social worker working in the field of education and a student representative. 50% of the SMC mandatorily consists of women. 75% of the SMC mandatorily consists of parents  

Derives its Oversight Powers From RTE:

The RTE Act lends SMCs the powers of oversight which include the review, monitoring and supervision of public schools, related programs, funds, activities and policy implementation.

SMCs are mainly responsible for:

  • building school community linkages 
  • monitoring and reporting any child right violations 
  • monitoring school functioning and finances

How Do We Do It:

We have been working with public schools across Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to democratize governance in public schools.

1. We build capacity in SMC members to engage effectively in the governance of their neighbourhood government school. Through experiential activities, we tell them about:  

  • Their Roles and responsibilities as SMC members
  • How can they perform their roles and responsibilities
  • RIghts of their children as per the Right To Education Act

This is either done by interactive training sessions or by modeling inside SMC meetings.

2. We support SMC members in:

  • Recognizing and building alignment on issues they want to solve inside a school.
  • Articulating their interests and representing them to the relevant authorities.

We do this by facilitating sessions outside the school or by facilitating SMC meetings.

Through the aforementioned interventions, we build capacity in SMC members to effectively participate in the governance of their government school.

Our Theory of Change

A well governed institution is more likely to deliver on its intended outcomes than a poorly governed institution. If SMCs function well, a government school is likely to be governed better than if only the principal governs the school.

                                                          ↓

Inclusion and representation of all stakeholders are basic facets of good governance. SMCs are mandatorily composed of a diverse stakeholder set including parents, teachers, students, principal, local authority representative etc.

                                                          ↓

To govern effectively, those governing should have the requisite voice and agency. In case of a government school, the SMC is the governing body.

                                                          ↓

Samarthya fosters voice and agency in members of the School Management Committee which is a legally mandated governance platform meant for local collective dialogue and action.


Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

By democratizing governance of public schools to effectively deliver quality education for their children, this innovation is having a profound effect in fostering voice and agency in local stakeholders enabling them to represent their interests.

HundrED Academy Reviews
This innovation creates spaces to promote governance and improve school management through the active participation of stakeholders. It benefits the school and could be applied in other regions.
This project makes it possible to strengthen the governance of public schools with an inclusive and participatory approach of the interested parties. Creating spaces for permanent dialogue on the school situation favors accountability and management.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

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