School Management Committee: A must have for every school
Families and communities have an important role to play in ensuring child-friendly education for each and every one of the estimated 190 million girls and boys in India who are of elementary school age.
The RTE Act, 2009 seeks greater involvement of communities in school development and management. The Act therefore makes the creation of a School Management Committee (SMC) mandatory for all schools.
School Management Committees are made up of parents, local authorities, teachers and children, with 75 per cent of members being parents and 50 per cent women.
Each committee will develop a School Development Plan for three years and will work with the local authorities and teachers to make the school child-friendly, including special provisions for out-of-school children and children with special needs.
Such community participation is crucial to ensuring a child-friendly "whole school" environment, including separate toilet facilities for girls and boys and attention to matters of health, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Once a state government notifies the RTE - as the governments of Orissa and Sikkim have already done - all schools must form a School Management Committee within six months.
As an Awaaz Do Champion you can encourage members of your community to play an active role in school development and management and support the School Management Committee of a school in your neighbourhood.
For the 8 million children who are out of school today, let's continue to step forward together to make the right to education a reality for every child in India.