Tamil Nadu government to involve local communities in school management committees in a bid to improve standards in public schools

In order to involve local communities more in the process of raising children, the government of Tamil Nadu has decided to convene a meeting of all parents and enhance their role in the teaching and learning process.

The meeting, scheduled for March 20, is just the first step in a series of measures being considered to improve standards in public schools, an education ministry official said. The idea is to reorganize school management committees across the state, named “Nam Palli Nam Perumai” (Our School, Our Pride).

The establishment of School Management Committees (SMCs) in all schools is also an orientation of the Right to Education Act. Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, minister of school education, told the media that school management committees have been functioning for some time. “We want to improve it with the participation of parents and the community. We want to raise awareness of the importance of being part of the committee,” he added.

School management committees, which “establish a strong link between school and community and develop a sense of community between schools and the school process,” were formed to take their assigned role seriously. This is the reason for the meeting on March 20, which will be attended by 52 lakh parents from 37,000 schools.

Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi wants increased female participation in the 20 SMC members, with a focus on young children (6-14 years old) so that any developmental issues such as disabilities can be identified early. Already, up to 200 coordinators have been selected to identify infrastructure gaps and other issues.

Aware of the need to train both teachers and parents, the Department of School Education has already set about preparing Directors and teachers for the new management practice. All teachers will follow the training in batches. Education Department officials pointed out that teachers were aware of the importance of CGEs and had informally involved groups of parents in school-related issues at various times.

The expectations of SMCs are high. These include: ensuring that dropouts return to school; preventing child marriages, child labour, malnutrition, etc.; ensuring a teacher-student ratio based on student strength; prepare school development plans and seek ways to achieve them in an era of low budgets; and raising awareness of student education and children’s rights.

Shortly after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) won the 2021 assembly elections, the party said that primary education and the state of schools would be looked at seriously and adequate funds would be made available. . With this in mind, Anbil Mahesh Poyyammozhi, in the Department of School Education Grant Applications for 2021-22, said, “The main objective of the state is to provide quality, accessible and inclusive education to all her children, and for this purpose the government has provided the highest budget allocation of Rs 32,599.54 crore for the year 2021-22 for school education.

He continued, “The Government’s objective in school education will be to ensure that the enrollment of all children of school age is achieved in total, to ensure the full retention of all children enrolled until at the secondary level, to reduce school drop-outs to zero. , to improve the learning outcomes of children according to their age and level, to empower teachers through effective and useful training, to harness the power of technology in the teaching process and to learning, to provide all students with basic literacy and numeracy skills, to improve basic facilities in schools, to equip children with new-age skills and to ensure their safety and well-being, especially given of the new normal established by COVID.

Irrespective of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, school education has received special attention. In the latest All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) scheme, KA Sencottaiyan launched a series of measures to improve the teaching and learning experience in the context of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) made compulsory.

Jeremy S. McLain