School Management Committees: A Move Towards Open Government in Education in India
Editor : NIEPA
Notes : 2021 | 67p.
This study developed as part of IIEP-UNESCO Research Project ‘Open Government: Learning From Experience describes how the school-community interface has strengthened in the form of school-based management structures in India. More specifically, it examines the functioning of school management committees (SMCs), which have crystallized as an outcome of about 50 years of government initiatives towards educational decentralisation.
In this context, it critically analyses the availability of school-related information, and reviews around 50 studies (both all-India and micro research) on the functioning of SMCs around three major dimensions of open government, namely: transparency, citizen engagement and accountability. It demonstrates that if initial steps have been taken for constituting SMCs, much more is required to make them functional, pointing in particular to the lack of awareness of their members about their roles and responsibilities, their limited participation in school activities, and the inadequacy of capacity building provided to SMC members.
In conclusion, the case study recommends that SMC members get oriented on the developmental and learning needs of children coming from disadvantaged sections, on open budgeting and the regulation of school finances, and on monitoring of academic activities. It also recommends that SMC members be granted more autonomy to ensure the accountability of the school towards the education of their students. It further insists on the need to inform SMC members on legal processes related to the violation of children’s rights.
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