Samarthan has conducted report card study on primary education in 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh. Lack of proper arrangements for cleanliness and sanitation is one of the deterring concerns for the children attending school. Children, despite availability of funds for the purpose, are performing these functions. It is discomforting for children to use filthy washrooms. Nevertheless, as student are keen to attend school, they put-on to this inconvenience.
Findings reveal that there are two serious concerns of parents:
- Separate and usable toilets for girls are a rarity in government schools. Even if toilets are available, often they are locked during and after school hours.
- There is lack of sufficient number of teachers, including women teachers.
In order to equip schools, all the basic facilities mentioned in the provisions of section 9 of RTE Act, 2009, should be a mandate for schools. (For More Details Click here)
The PTA is considered to work as catalyst for bringing change in the perceptions of the community. The state has pinned its hope on community pressures to change perception of the parents who do not send their children to the school. It is also hoped that the community participation in the management and running schools shall be able to solve the problem of inefficiency in primary education. Community participation and pressures could put an end to problems like absenteeism of teachers, irregular opening of school and improving the quality of primary education. However, there are some basic concerns of parents relating to school infrastructure and features, which need to be address. Findings of the study give following suggestions for improving performance of government Schools as well as Parent Teacher Associations:
- There should be arrangement of sweeper for cleaning toilet and for general cleanliness at the schools. For this purpose, specific norms need to be prepared with clear guideline for implementation and fund allocation.
- In order to augment resources, there is a need to converge funds from other departments.
- In order to improve quality of teaching, engagement of teachers and their seriousness need to be improved. As per the education act, the teacher should not be involved in work that obstructs teaching. This should be strictly followed and monitored by the community, PTA and discussed in Gram Sabha meetings.
- For proper coordination, there is an urgent need to define a reporting and coordination mechanism between PTA and Panchayat.