Express News Service
CHENNAI: Following the mega meeting of parents across the State to raise awareness on School Management Committees (SMCs), the reconstitution of the committees in a democratic process will begin on April 23. Officials said it will be held in four phases, starting with middle schools.
The reconstitution process will begin in 6,849 middle schools on April 23. As there are more than 24,000 primary schools, half will choose SMC members on April 30, and the rest on May 7. “The process in the 3,063 high schools and 3,083 higher secondary schools will take place in the fourth week of June as we don’t want to disturb their functioning during the final exams,” said an official from the education department, adding that an observer will be sent to each school to offer guidance in choosing committee members.
As per the Right to Education Act, every school should have an SMC comprising students’ parents/guardians, teachers, and elected representatives of the local authority. Of 20 panel members, at least 15 should be parents/guardians, and 50% should be women. Representation should be given to parents/guardians from disadvantaged groups, as per the Act.
Presently, only a few schools across the State have active SMCs. The education department is working under the ‘Nam Palli, Nam Perumai’ (Our School, Our Pride) initiative to reconstitute SMCs to improve the quality of schools. “This is the first large-scale attempt to reconstitute SMCs. Sufficient time should be provided for SMCs to mature as an institution. It might take a few years of continuous efforts,” said a senior official of the department.SMCs can monitor how funds are spent, ensure there are no dropouts, and even report child marriages, apart from planning schools’ infrastructure.
More than 23 lakh parents participated in the awareness meetings held regarding SMCs in 37,558 schools across the State on March 20