We decided to hold School Management Committees (SMC) to help us with the running of the school and to make the school accountable to parents. We aim to run one SMC every school term.
Parents in Yelammabanda often don’t know what to expect from the school their children attend. The Lower Grades are seen as an alternative to a day care. The children are dropped off in the morning while parents go to work and are picked back up whenever they return. Most parents having not attended schools themselves do not know what to expect from them.
Our first SMC happened in March 2014. We invited parents to come to school and class 5 put on a small play called “Ekalavya” as an introduction. All the school teachers, our principal (Lavanya), the school helper (Ayamma) and Himabala,who was leading this meeting, were present.
Himabala spoke about the importance of getting birth certificates for the children. They need them to attend higher educational institutions, getting government help among other things. She spoke about the importance of spending time with their children while they do their homework, however little they might understand of it. Other topics like nutrition, school attendance, general hygiene and school fees were covered.
Parents also came forward with their concerns and were engaged in discussion. The meeting concluded with parents agreeing to be part of the committee and elect parent representatives for each class. It is important that we get parents cooperating in their children’s education.