It is to improve teaching-learning process, particularly in villages

The department of elementary education has proposed to improve the teaching-learning process in schools under its purview, particularly those in villages, through empowering School Management Committees (SMC) formed last year under the RTE (Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education) Act 2009.

To prepare a training module for SMC members with support from the Institute of Human Rights Education (IHRE), People’s Watch, Madurai, and the UNICEF, the department has been conducting regional-level workshops.

So far, consultative meetings involving officials of Education Department and related (line) departments and school heads have been completed in Chennai, Salem, Madurai, and Tiruchi.

A draft would be prepared after the fifth and final meeting in Tirunelveli within the next few days, official sources said.

According to Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, IHRE, a qualitative transformation would be possible in schools only when the SMCs exercise their monitoring authority comprehensively.

“The module (under preparation) concentrates on the responsibilities of SMC in which parents’ representation would be 75 per cent, with equal representation for women. It would equip SMCs with skills to handle their responsibilities.

Parents and other members would be apprised on the methodology to intervene and take up issues with higher officials in cases of shortcomings in the implementation of the RTE provisions, and the approach with which school development plan must be evolved.”

“Alongside creating awareness among officials about their implementing role, the module would educate SMC members that erring teachers require time to reform themselves and that a confrontationist approach must be avoided,” Mr. Tiphagne said.

N. Latha, Additional Director of Elementary Education (Aided schools), Aruna Rathnam, Education Specialist, UNICEF, and officials implementing noon meal scheme and those representing Adi Dravidar Welfare, Backward Class, and Civil Supplies departments, State Transport Corporation, and Heath Services, took part in the meeting.


According to Education Department officials, the process of consultations, meant to orient stakeholders to their roles, would provide a push to the SMCs to function effectively in Tamil Nadu, which they said, was ahead of several other States in implementing the Act.

Describing the consultative meeting as a proactive process, a senior official said the opinions expressed by stakeholders in all meetings would be incorporated in the draft.

“We are now concentrating on preparing the module. A mechanism would soon be evolved for monitoring its implementation,” the official said.

Primary and upper primary schools had been provided with manuals on RTE and SMC, V. Jeyakumar, District Elementary Educational Officer, said.

  • To be prepared with the support of IHRE, People’s Watch, Madurai, and the UNICEF

  • ‘Qualitative transformation possible only when SMCs exercise monitoring authority’