The aim of Mawa School (a Gondi word which means Our School) is to generate ownership of primary and middle schools among parents, community members and village level elected persons and facilitate community participation in quality education delivery through school management committees without losing their indigenous norms and value system.
Accordingly the growth process could be explained like this: community will be empowered enough to make demands from the schools. They will be more involved in decision making in all its subject matters to ensure that their children are learning in school. The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are supposed to be school going children.
This project has two phases: initiation phase and implementation phase.We began working in academic year 2014-15 in 186 schools of 23 villages.Initiation phase involved bringing together all stakeholders and creating a platform for discussion about the issues related to each of the school.It was quite difficult to persuade people to sit together for meetings but with the help of elected village representatives peoplewere persuaded to discuss the situation of their respective school. We have recorded these developments through case studies.
Currently the project is in its second phase as regular meetings of School Management Committeeshave started and they sit together every month to assess the development in their school.We have also formed a village level federation of school management committees through which people share their experience with each other and take collective decision. We also have a toll free grievances cell for them at district level which is being run with the support of education department.
It has been our observation that whenever the state of education system is discussed at various platforms only academic solutions like curriculum, pedagogy, etc. are offered.Thus we always try to strengthen the system by autocratic administrative process and technological innovations. No perspective from the viewpoint of beneficiaries is brought forth. But if we give the responsibility and ownership of schools to the beneficiaries they will definitely protect it like their own property. So the innovation is “giving quality education delivery responsibility to beneficiary communities”. It is being done to revive the old process of community education through government education institutions.
In Dantewada majority of students are first generation school learners and they are the end beneficiaries of this work.This notion is developing pro-active relationship between school and community for ensuring quality education for all children. This couldhappen through social leadership to lead the demand for quality education in government schools with the support from the network of local based organizations.
The vision is that the parents and School Management Committees (SMC) take active interest in the functioning of school and assists teachers to deliver quality education. All different stakeholders, including community based organizations and the SMC, take pro-active role in improvement of school infrastructure and learning environment of school and village.
The following outcomes are measurable. Regarding time period, we are talking about dispositional and behavioral growth. To do that we have need to change the perception, it is time taking exercise. Still we are expecting in a span of 3-5 years measurable impact could be seen in any village we are working.
In future we want to expand this initiative across the district. The schools and villages we are currently working in can become a source of inspiration for other villages. We would like to follow a phase wise system by taking inputs from Roger’s innovation curve.Therefore we will identify early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards and work with them.
Regarding scaling up of our work we plan to empower the School Management Committees in various ways. This empowerment will include raising voice for their rights and being aware of their roles and responsibilities. It will also include change in stakeholders approach towards SMC as we are expecting them to acknowledge the decision taken by SMCs.