Communitisation of Elementary Education

The concept of communitisation is about substantially improving the quality and delivery of public services such as the elementary school at the grass roots by harnessing the age-old social capital availability in the community. A system of communitisation as it were thus represents a parading shift from the model of government where authority lies wholly in the hands of the government.

Its defining characteristic is a unique partnership involving sharing of ownership between government and the user community in the management of public institutions and delivering of their services, empowerment, decentralization, and delegation, building capacity all with the aim of improving the delivery of public utility system. Communitisation therefore involves transfer of government asserts to the community, empowerment of the community through delegation of government powers of management and supervision of day-to-day functioning of employers to village committees.

It also demands ensuring accountability of government employees posted at the service delivery level to local communities and control of government asserts by village committees including the responsibility for maintenance, amelioration and augmentation of asserts. As such communitisation is based on triple ‘T’ approach •Trust the user community •Train them to discharge their new found responsibility and •Transfer government powers and resources in respect of management

The roots of communitisation were first laid in 2000, when the state government initiated an “Imagine Nagaland” dialogue exercise where various community stake holders extensively discussed a vision of a better Nagaland improving the delivery of government services in sectors such as education was clearly seen as an area that needed urgent addressal. Following this, in 2002 the “Nagaland Communitisation of public services and institution Act”, a first of its kind in India, was passed by the state assembly.

The act aimed to create a more responsive community, who through intensive partnership with the state government would take greater responsibility in the management of public institution in certain sectors. The act covered elementary education grassroots health care and power sectors. In the education sector, the department of education in 2002 framed the “Nagaland Communitisation of elementary education institute and service rules”. The rules declared all government run primary and middle schools in the state to be commoditized.

This in essence, communitisation empowers the village community to own and to develop the government primary and middle school. To operationalize the rules, every village with a (communitised) government school(s) set up a village education committee (VEC), which was the legal authority to manage education within its jurisdiction. Salary amount for government employed in the school is deposited in advance into the VEC account and the VEC disburses the salary.

The VEC is required to ensure disciplines and regularity of teachers with power to enforce ‘no work, no pay’ principles fund for key purposes such as purchase of text books, furniture, construction and repair of building etc are deposited by the government in VEC account VEC was also given the power to make enter-school utilization of teacher and select and recommend appointment of substitute teachers against long-term for universal enrolment. 1. 10. 1 ELEMENTARY EDUCATION STRUCTURES, SSA AND COMMUNITISATION: With introduction of new pattern, new systems and new terminologies, initial confusions and communication gap are bound to arise.

However, some basic point outlines below will help avoid ambiguities. The overall charge of elementary education shall continue with the government, department of school education, SCERT and the NBSE. The sarva Shiksha Abhiyan state mission authority Nagaland (SSA) is a state level autonomous society registered under No. H/RS-668 dated 5th June, 2000 sponsored by the government in conformity with National policy with articulated frameworks and programmes towards fulfillment of the constitutional obligation of universalisation of elementary education (VEC) by 2010 with quality improvement.

Under it are the district mission authorities with respective Deputy Commissioner as the chairman and the district education officer as the District project officer and number secretary. Communitisation is not a structure but a system, a process by which involvement and participation of communities are facilitated by an act creating village level authorities (VEC) and by empowering them to manage the elementary education institution under respective jurisdictions. The SSA does not create new structure but reinforces the existing ones in the government.

It depends on the departments of the government for man power. Only in exceptional circumstances extra man power is recruited as per norms laid down by the national mission authority. The state government has to ensure that the educational mainstream has to be totally involved in the programme activities of SSA. SSA upgrades competence of staff. It is a funding of projects of elementary schools avoiding avoidable brakes and leakages in financial systems at all levels, government of India and government of Nagaland down to the village communities for whom the fund is meant.

The system of communitisation has created local education authority (VEC) which represents the community, and has legal sanction. To the VEC are delegated the responsibility and the authority to run elementary school with accountability and transparency. Thus the SSA and the system of communitisation are both means of strengthening and enriching the department in discharge of its responsibility of elementary education. Communitisation has become an intrinsic vehicle of SSA.

Under the communitisation framework, a VEC constituted by the village council takes responsibility of the management and supervision of school(s) within its jurisdiction, including the implementation of a “No work, no pay” policy for errant teachers. The purpose and functions of the VEC range widely at the administrative. Academic and financial levels. More specifically, in a human development content, ensuring universal enrolment and retention in schools of children upto 14 or class VIII is one of its key functions. Table No. 3 Table 1. 10. 2 Power and function of the VEC AdministrativeAcademicFinancial

Ensure regular and effective running of schools. Ensure discipline and regularity of teachers by withholding pay or enforcing ‘No work, no pay’ Recommendation in transfer and retention of teachers. Construct and maintain school buildings Complete and furnish annual reports of schoolsEnsure universal enrolment and retention in school children up to the age of 14 or class VIII Ensure daily running of classes and implementation of annual plans. Make available free school uniforms, free text books and other learning materials. Receive grants from government generate resources and operate an education fund

Disburse monthly salary of teachers and other staff, deduct salary not due, based on a ‘no work, no pay’ principle. Maintain proper accounts of income and expenditure, asserts of the school. Get accounts audited and bring out authentic report of the same Source: Hand books on communitisation of elementary education, Directorate of schools education, government of Nagaland 2002. 2. 0. The problem and methodology. 2. 1 Needs and significance of the study. Elementary education forms the roots of education. Hence it forms a very importance stage of education in individual life.

It is only during this phase that he start thinking and grasping capability significantly increase. According to the constitution, elementary education is a fundamental right of children in the age group of 6-14 years. Reiterating its commitment to strengthen the base of the pyramid of education (primary education), the National policy of education 1986, has given top priority to universalisation of elementary education. According to statistic two third of school going children of India are enrolled is school but the figures are deceptive as many don’t attend school regularly.

The constitutional provisions and the consequent legal and national policies and statement have time and again upheld the cause of universal elementary education. The government has rolled out many plans to increase the percentage of elementary education. A large number of project and programme have been launched in various parts of the country since the inception of the new policy. The success of these programmes will depend on the sound support system and well tested mechanism of evaluation evolved through search of good quality.

This vision can be translated into action only when the functionaries working at the strategic position in the system are capable to undertake research studies, which have a direct practical bearing. In India the central government and state government, which have the joint responsibility to provide basic education service, are committed by the constitutional mandate to providing free education to all children upto the age of 14 years. However, the state governments are the main envoys this is the reason why the quality of the schooling system varies a great deal in the country from state to state.

The Nagaland scenario shows that the state government has taken up various measures for qualitative improvement of education and has made considerable achievement in the elementary sector, but the functioning of the school is far from expectation. Day in and day out we hear, see and talk about decline in public delivery system. Although there are schools everywhere, many of them hardly teach. These are examples of the vast network of institution and services which exist but in moribund state, delivering being inefficient and ineffective. The basic reason for this state of affair lies in poor management.

The word “Development” is today so much talked in Nagaland that it has become a part of every Naga language. But to Nagas of today, development would mean mainly material development. Human development is underestimated material development without human development brings more problem than prosperity. Human development to ensure continued prosperity and progress. The government has therefore envisaged the system of communitisation in an effort to transfer certain management responsibilities to the community and to involve them in educational system management.

The aim is to provide quality education and improve human capabilities of the children, through a sense of belonging and sharing amongst the community members and to utilize the material and human resource for betterment of the school. Furthermore, this study of communitisation of elementary education intends to get active involvement of community and play significant role in achieving the goal of universalisation of elementary education. Community mobilization and participation is another component emphasizing the decentralization of planning management process.

These arise a need to ensure, retention and quality education joyful teaching and learning environment. Therefore there is an urgent need to undertake a research study so that required improvement could be made in the area of elementary schools and also to forge community to conscientised , to reaffirm themselves, to restructure and restrengthen the elementary education at all stages of school, and make them to think carefully about the importance of primary school education and how they can be a backbone for the primary education in Nagaland. Keeping this in view the present study was undertaken.

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