Objectives of the study:
To assess the roles of the Panchayat level functionaries in the context of Governance of Elementary Education
To map networking of village level agencies and NGOs in the functioning of schools
To find out the nature and degree of change in perception of women and disadvantaged groups in the functioning of educational institutions.
To study the perception of educational functionaries towards Panchayat institutions in the governance of Elementary Education.
Chakrata block of Dehradun district of Uttaranchal State was selected.
Village Information Schedule
School Information Schedule
Sayana/Local Leader Schedule
Statistical Techniques Used:
Measures of Central Tendencies, Measures of Dispersion and Correlations were used.
The village education committee and the school management committee, two participatory structures with representation from the panchayat, community and school are established and functional at the gram panchayat and school levels
The panchayat system in Uttaranchal is highly politicized body and has a strong linkage with the political parties. As members of the village, block and district panchayats are directly elected and the elections for these positions are held simultaneously, the state and central level political parties play a major role in electing the pradhans and other panchayat members.
There is general apathy and sense of helplessness among the villagers about panchayat system and its electoral process. The candidates use various types of strategies such as caste affiliation, village identity, money etc. For securing votes and winning election.
For Pradhans and their political patrons, it is the composition of electorates and the winning combination, which influence their decisions in development and funds dispersal. At times, Pradhan rewards with incentives to those who had helped him in getting elected.
The village education committee headed by Pradhaan, is the most important committee, as far as involvement of panchayat bodies in elementary education is concerned. The committee is panchayat specific and covers all the govt. Schools in its jurisdiction.
The VECs are mostly pradhaan and Teacher Centric. The community at large has a little to sya in day-to-day functioning of the school and VEC. Most of the villagers do not know the names of the VEC members.
The VECs are actively involved in construction, repair and disbursement of school and teacher grants. All the VECs have bank accounts and the village education funds are transacted through the accounts.
The school movement committee (SMC) which is school specific and is expected to look after day to day functioning of the school. Although it has adequate representation from the village, the SMC members do not visit the school on regular basis, they are not able to contribute much to the functioning of the school.
There is lack of coordination between the education department and panchayat department at different levels of administration. Except at gram panchayat level, there is hardly any interaction between panchayat and education department at block and district levels. Even at gram panchayat level, the interaction is limited to the occasional involvement of gram pradhan.
The high incidence of teacher absenteeism and the poor condition of the school buildings show that the monitoring of the school and school infrastructure by the VEC or SMC is weak. The teachers remain absent from school for various reasons without knowledge of the VEC or SMC members. The building constructed only a few years ago look dilapidated due to lack of maintenance of repair.
The VEC meetings are occasionally held to discuss matters related mainly to school infrastructure. The minutes of the meeting show that the decisions are often taken unanimously. As reported, Pradhan and Head Teacher are the main persons in deliberating the overall process.
Keyword(s): Elementary Education, Decentralized governance