Creating a Group of Grass-root Volunteers to Promote Community-School Interactions and for Enabling Community-based Governance in Education:
A three-day long training was given to 43 members of different Village Organizations (a number of SHGs come together to form a Village Organization at the village level) in Gumla, Jharkhand. The training was conducted in two batches over the duration of six days from 30th of October to 4th of November.
The purpose of the training was to create a group of grass-root volunteers from among the members of the Self Help Groups who will have an understanding of
- The role education plays in enabling a better individual life and also in the overall creation of a better society.
- The basic structure of the Government Education Department.
- The issues facing the government schools in the Raidih block of the district.
The training aimed at making them capable of initiating programs at the village level through which different stakeholders in education such as the children, community members (including parents of children studying in government schools), members of the Panchayats and the teachers of the schools could come together and start understanding each other better so as to help each other in creation of a better education environment and facilities in at the village level.
During the first day of the training, a representative from PRADAN – the partner organization, talked about how proper education can help them in improving their living standards even more and the importance of community participation in promoting the overall quality of education.
During the second and third days of training, the above aspect was discussed in more details and with several activities for them to understand the quality of education and its nuances. The participants were introduced to the relevant provisions of the Right to Education Act, methods of formation of SMCs and its responsibilities and correct way of functioning and basic structure of the government Education Department.
As a part of the introduction to the Government Education structure, the participants were informed about their and their children’s rights under the Right to Education Act such as:
- The right of each and every child to get a free and compulsory education from 6 to 14 years of age, and
- Rights and responsibilities of the members of School Management Committees in ensuring proper and smooth running of the schools.
A total of 43 women – didis, could actually participate in it. These participants were selected by the Village Organizations after meetings held by Prajayatna with them in previous months.
It was a lively workshop full of group activities and mutual discussions among the participants which led to an understanding of the issues facing the government schools and a resolve to work for their overall betterment for the benefit of the community.