A collaborative state level consultation on School Development Plans in Chhattisgarh aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.
Schools, the founding stone of every child’s life, requires a great amount of contribution from various segments of the society. From parents to teachers as well as the students, each individual plays a key role in improving the overall condition of schools.
With this vision, under Section 21 of the RTE Act, all schools are required to constitute a School Management Committee (SMC).
SMCs build a critical bridge between the community and the school, involving parents, teachers, and students together, and playing the additional role of providing an oversight in schools to ensure that all basic requirements are being met as per the Right to Education (RTE) Guidelines 2009.
In order to function effectively, the committee has the mandate to involve various provisions related to School Development Plans, a three-year plan that is reviewed annually. It covers aspects such as distance from the school, 100% enrolment rate, and appropriate infrastructure of the school, trained teachers following a teacher student ratio of 1:30, and retention, promotion and learning practices to enhance the academic level of the children.
Last year, WaterAid in collaboration with Chhattisgarh (CG) RTE Forum, carried out a rapid assessment of WASH in School in 15 districts of the state. The assessment showcased the tragic condition of WASH infrastructure in a majority of the schools.
As a next step, on 31 July 2017, WAI organised a state level consultation in Raipur, Chhattisgarh on improving the school development plans (SDP), in collaboration with CG RTE Forum and Magic Bus India Foundation (MBIF). The sole purpose of the consultation was to brainstorm measures to improve the SDP process and thus develop realistic plans with adequate attention to WASH.
Partners from UNICEF, WaterAid, MBIF, members of RTE forum, SMC members (from Durg, Kanker and Korba), and State Education Consultant participated in the consultation.
A time-bound plan was prepared to demonstrate model School Development Plans in 120+ schools by 5 September, 2017 (which includes 30 schools under WAI). The key components of this time bound plans are –
- Orientation of SMCs on School Development Plans;
- Facilitation of participatory SDP preparation;
- Approval from Gram Sabha, and sharing with District and State level stakeholders
With the interventions and collaborative efforts, a drastic improvement in the school arrangement and overall functioning is anticipated. This positive change will not just improve the school infrastructure, but would also provide the children with a memorable experience during their foundation years.