Maharashtra government aims to increase parents’ involvement in Mumbai schools

Mumbai: The state education ministry plans to start School Management Committee (SMC) in Mumba’s all government-aided schools to increase the participation of parents in school activities. Through the committee, parents can participate, understand and help their wards in all activities right from classroom learning to extra curricular activities.

SMC have been initiated in Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools wherein parents and teachers work hand-in-hand in the committees. Parents attend weekly or monthly meetings where teachers explain the subjects and themes taught along with the activities planned. This gives parents a realistic picture of the performance of their children. This even gives the teachers an opportunity to directly interact with student’s parents.

After the success of this model in ZP schools, the state education ministry wants to initiate SMC in city schools. Prachi Sathe, officer on special duty (OSD) of state education department said, “We want to start SMC in city schools to increase involvement and participation of parents.

Parents in state-run schools here are more concerned about their children, as there is no regular interaction with the teachers about school activities. If we involve parents directly, then there will be more transparency and it will provide a platform for discussion and sharing.”

Currently, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) model is being used in city schools but the parents’ involvement is limited to only PTA meetings, according to both, the parents and teachers. Rashmi Lambe, a teacher said, “It is only during the open house that we get a chance to interact with parents of our students. Second, it is impossible to explain all the activities on the open house day, as there are many parents who wish to talk to us, hence it is better if there is a constant common platform.”

Parents claimed they want to share their ideas and know about classroom learning. Sanjay Surve, a parent said, “We know our children and their habits so we can always share our ideas about their behavioural patterns. Also, we wish to help teachers to understand out children better as often teachers find it difficult to deal with some students who have certain problems or special needs. If there is a constant interaction with teachers then we can discuss and tackle these issues in an efficient way.”

The education ministry aims to interact with more parents before initiating SMC in city schools. Sathe added, “Parents of city sch­ools are different from parents of other districts. But we have received a positive response from both parents and teachers about SMC programme. We want to encourage holistic development.”

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