Since the passing of the Right to Education Act (RTE, 2009), School Management Committees (SMCs) have been a requirement in all government schools. Functioning SMCs have the ability to ensure that every child is attending school and receiving a quality education, to ensure that government resources are acquired and distributed appropriately and to ensure that each student receives the government grants that are available to them. Unnati has witnessed many cases where active SMCs have led to significant improvements in schools, including an increase in teacher appointments, records being kept of out-of-school children, child labourers being re-enrolled in schools and improvements being made to school infrastructure. Unfortunately, most SMCs are either inactive or don’t have the skills needed to properly undertake their responsibilities.
Unnati focuses on building the capacities of SMCs to enable them to improve conditions within their schools. This includes ensuring that all members understand their responsibilities and those of other stakeholders, providing members with the skills that they need to take real management roles within the school, and creating linkages with local government committees involved in improving education.
The most important role of SMCs is the creation of School Development Plans (SDPs), which act as a blueprint for all future improvements made to the school, including infrastructure, facilities, and teacher numbers. It is also the basis for all plans and grants made by the government or local authority, and for efforts to reach universal access and enrolment.