Community Takes Charge

This is the story of Ms.Mallika, the Vice President of the School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) of the Government Higher Primary School, Podu in Hennagara Educational Cluster. As a member of the SDMC, she is passionate about ensuring the development of the school, not only for her children but for all children. 

Like many women in her community, Ms.Mallika did not have equal access to education growing up. However, she understands the value of good quality education and wants her children to have access to it. She enrolled her kids at GHPS, Podu, with the hope that they would receive the exposure and opportunities she lacked. 

In June 2019, she was elected Vice President of the SDMC, after the teachers noticed her active participation during the monthly meetings. At one of the subsequent SDMC meetings, teachers expressed their concern about a faulty roof in one of the classrooms. Every time it rained, the water seeped through, and the class could not be used that day. Ms. Mallika and her committee visited the classroom and reassured the teachers that they would take the required action. 

The committee tried to hire some laborers to have the roof repaired, but unfortunately, none were available immediately. Realizing the urgency of the situation, Ms. Mallika took things into her own hands and climbed up the roof to fix the problem spots. 

Everyone was pleasantly surprised and impressed that an SDMC member went to such lengths to ensure that the students did not lose their classroom. And this remarkable effort is not the extent of her participation with school initiatives. 

During the Cluster Level SDMC workshops, Ms. Mallika actively participated and even shared her experiences as the VP of her SDMC. She encouraged parents to become SDMC members by explaining the roles and responsibilities and also drawing connections to how the development of the school is beneficial to their children. 

“Ms. Mallika is truly an exceptional SDMC member,” added Ms. Reshma, a teacher at the GHPS, Podu, who shared how Ms.Mallika visits the school everyday, checks the midday meals, speaks to teachers and the headmaster and continues to support the school in its improvement. 

At Mantra, community members like Ms. Mallika inspire us to believe that school development is possible through the engagement of the community. We hope that Ms.Mallika continues to inspire us as well as other parents towards becoming active participants of school improvement. 

Contributed by Channakeshava, Cluster Transformation Lead, Mantra

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