Management panels say principal ignore them

Management panels say principal ignore them

Even though their powers were enhanced in July, members of school management committees (SMCs) for Delhi government schools say they can’t fulfil their new role because of lack of cooperation by principals and teachers.

The committees, which have a maximum representation of parents, are supposed to monitor utilisation of funds, can check school records, conduct inspections and recommend action against absent teachers.

However, many parents and social workers have rued the “interference” and “arrogance” of school principals and other staff members and want Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to intervene.

While some complain that the staff members at schools make derogatory remarks, others say that their inspections bring no result as no one pays heed to the reports.  Uzma, a committee member for Government Boys Senior Secondary School in Seemapuri, said, “Last month there was no water in the school for some days and the students were facing a lot of problems because of that. As an SMC member, I went to the principal's office and the staff started behaving very badly with me and mocked me, saying that I am not a collector that they should listen to me.”  She has written to Sisodia, who also holds the Education portfolio, and the district authorities, complaining about the incident.

“The powers have been enhanced to meet the ground realities and are very extensive but there is no acceptance by the principals or teachers. If we ask them to show the records they behave adamantly,” said Ritu Mehra from NGO Pardarshita and SMC member for Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Dilshad Garden.

Each SMC consists of 16 members – 12 parents, a social worker, school principal, a convener and the local MLA who can appoint a representative to attend the meetings. 

Social workers said that since they are working in the field of education for the past few years the principals cooperate with them sometimes. But they don't take the parents seriously, they alleged.

The guidelines issued in July by the Directorate of Education (DoE) stated that the SMC meetings will take place twice a month, on the first and third Saturday. Previously, the committees were required to meet just once in two months.

“The guidelines are not being followed in our school till now. Last Saturday, we waited for the principal for a long time but she did not come for the meeting,” said Chandar Prakash, an SMC member for Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Nand Nagri, A Block.

He added that the maintenance work at schools running two shifts is not being paid attention to due to lack of coordination between the two principals.

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