Quality education through participatory approach
An analysis of the collective process of the state and civil society in framing policies, which enhances participation of civil society in monitoring the functioning of schools.
How to prevent teacher absenteeism ?
According to a surprise survey conducted by World Bank-Harvard University in India, one in four government primary school teachers is absent on any given day, and that only one in two are actually teaching.
The survey says this could be because teachers feel there is “little risk of being fired for absence”.
IBNlive report says that government’s bigger headache in the future might not be out-of-school children. It could well be the out-of-school teachers.
« Absenteeism in Indian schools is as high as 25 to 30 per cent”, says UNESCO representative, Minja Yang.
The World Bank study suggests that there should be new forms of local control over schools in order to prevent teacher absenteeism. The study found that teacher absenteeism is less in schools that had active parent-teacher associations.
The efforts of Centre for Child and the Law,
In this context, one should appreciate the efforts of Centre for Child and the Law, a Bangalore based organization, who took initiative in drafting a model byelaw on SDMC (School Development and Monitoring Committee) in conjunction with the department of education, panchayat raj and rural development and friends from civil society groups and NGOs. The model byelaw in turn could keep the schools away from political interference and also rope in the community who are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of the government schools.
Giving a great victory to the collective process of state and civil society, the Honorable High Court of Karnataka has upheld the model byelaw in toto in December 2006. As per the final order of the High Court, all SDMCs, which were constituted under the Government Order dated 28 April 2001, will have to function in accordance with the model by-laws as far as all aspects are concerned – meetings, disciplinary action, duties of different officers etc. and which have completed their three-year term will have to be re-constituted in accordance with the model byelaws.
The model byelaw covers provisions related to enrolment, quality education, access to infrastructure and institutional support and prescribes certain guidelines for the functioning of School, SDMC and Civic Amenities Committee to achieve the goal of quality education.
The groups who were instrumental in bringing out this byelaw are now actively involved in training the public, especially the SDMC members on the provisions of the byelaw and in building relationship between the three important institutions – School, SDMC & Civic Amenities Committee towards the realization of universal quality education.
However, it is a pity that the politics badly intervened and challenged the model byelaw in order to protect personal interests. It is a shame to the democratic country that every attempt by the civil society is hijacked by the politicians, while they are supposed to be the protectors of social justice in the country.
One in four primary school teachers absent: study, www.empowerpoor.org/relatednews.asp?report=248
Teachers run short of attendance, IBNlive, Thursday November 9, 2006 02:35 PM