(SMC’s are pushing for the state to respond and provide education and not mere literacy for the children of the poor)
School Management Committees (SMCs) across Himachal Pradesh met in Mandi District on 19th and 20th November 2016 at Mnadi Saksharta Avm Jan Vikas Samiti). It was organised by Himachal Pradesh Right to education Forum in collaboration with various NGOs(PAPN, EK Nari, Nishtha, RTDC, Chiildline PAHAR and others), activists, SCPCR, Teacher’s Union, Youth groups and SMCs. Education Secretary Himachal Pradesh Mr Rakesh Kumar Sharma, SCPCR member Mr Rajinder Mohan, Chairperson Jila Parishad Ms Champa Thakur, eminent environmentalists Mr Kulbhushan. Uprendu, Himachal Pradesh teacher’s Union leader Mr Vinay and other teachers along with SMC members and pradhan from seven districts of HP and convener RTE forum convener Mr Ambarish Rai (Nationa) and Aatreya Sen (State) addressed the convention. It was a very participatory gathering where everyone shared their concerns on education of children and charted out a direction towards education for all in a safe and secure environment in schools. SMC Pradhan and members got an opportunity to share their challenges and achievements with the Education Secretary for the first time in the state. Concerns pertaining to teachers’s absence, behaviour, adequate number of teachers, PTR, MDM, participation of girls in sports, inadequate infrastructure for girls in sports, separate toilet for girls, clean toilets and discrimination based on gender and caste. Abuse of alcohol and non vegetarian food with wrong demeanour within school compound was also reported. SMC members articulated how they intervened and the school authorities collaborated to bring changes. One SMC member from Sirmour said
"Bhed Bhav jo hote he wo taur tarike me hote he”. Bachhe school se khana lekar aate he agar MDM choti jaat ki paroste he”. Humne ye cheez ko bandh kiya he aapne school me”.
As a result of a democratic participation and listening to each’s other’s concerns from across 100 schools in seven districts of all primary stakeholders the Education Secretary took a decision to publish a circular to immediately stop misbehaviour resulting from abuse of alcohol and food in a way which affect the school’s safe and secure environment.