Once Upon a Time in a SchoolAn education project by Azim Premji Students

Meet the Kids

Their life in stories

We started our initial field visit in the Government school, Konappana Agrahara. It has a functional and active School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC). We also found the school in Basapura Village to have a dysfunctional and inactive SDMC.

As a result, we will be focusing on a comparitive study between the schools within Basapura Village and Konappana Agrahara village. We plan to take up the intervention in the SDMC of the school in Basapura.

Rationale of the Project

There are various studies on community participation in school management which are clearly establishing a direct correlation between the active participation of the community and the well-functioning of school. But unfortunately, in many places &emdash; especially in many villages like Basapura &emdash; the SDMC is almost dysfunctional. Therefore, this project could be seen as an attempt to strengthen SDMC, thereby strengthening the memebers involvement in school management, which in turn, will have a long-term positive impact on the quality of education in the government school located in Basapura.

Meet Us

The pilots of the Project


Kriti is an LLM student at Azim Premji University.


Nayashree is an LLM student at Azim Premji University. What can describe a person more than his/her thoguhts in form of a poem. So, here is one from Nayashree:

“मेरी अभिलाषा”

1) स्कूल नहीं जो जा पाते हैं पढ़ लिख जो नहीं पाते हैं कलम नहीं जिनकी किस्मत में मैं ऐसे बच्चों का सहारा बनना चाहती हूँ मैं एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |

                                    2) कोमल हाथ उठाए ना पत्थर
                                        जिसकी  हालत है बद से बदतर
                                        खेलने कूदने की उम्र में
                                        रोटी के लिए जो जूझते हैं
                                        मैं ऐसे बच्चों की भूख मिटाना चाहती हूँ  
                                        मैं  एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |

3) किताबों को जो दूर से ताकते हैं
जो स्कूलों से दूर ही रहते हैं
मैं ऐसे बच्चों को पास बुलाना चाहती हूँ
मैं एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |

4) अध्यापक एक शिल्पी होता है हम पत्थरों को आकार वह देता है मिट्टी की मूर्ति वह गढ़ता है माटी को अनमोल एवं पत्थर को पूज्य बनाता है
मैं ऐसी मूर्तिकार बनना चाहती हूँ मैं एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |

                         शंकाओं का समाधान वो करता है
                           बच्चों की आँखों में चमक वह लाता है
                           आज में भी कल को साक्षात देखता है
                           नन्ही-नन्ही आँखों में छिपे
                           सपनों को जो पढ़ता है
                           मैं ऐसी किताबों को पढ़ना चाहती हूँ
                           मैं एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |    
  1. अध्यापक राष्ट्र निर्माता होता है खुशहाली के बीज वह बोता है बच्चों में जो खो जाता है मैं उस सागर में मिलना चाहती हूँ
    मैं एक अध्यापक बनना चाहती हूँ |

                   --- “नयश्री भोसगे”


Ram is an MA (Development) student at Azim Premji University.

So what's the Plan?

Our plan of action

Our plan has following very broad steps:

  1. Build a case study for our school vis a vis SDMC requirements.
  2. Take that case study and compare it with the model SDMC school.
  3. Analyse. Think. Discuss.
  4. Come out with the intervention points which can help the school to move closest to the SDMC goal.


The place of work


Our karambhoomi is a government school located in Basapura(Karnataka). It is a lower primary school with classes from 1-5th standard.

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Weekly Updates

One Step at a Time

Center for Child and Law

Dec 30, 2016 at CCL, NLS Bangalore at 11 AM

We introduced our project to Mr. Niranjan. The discussion went as follows:

  1. Mr. Niranjan said that we should do a case study of the school we have chosen for the field project.
  2. The case study will involve creation of a checklist of things that should be present in the School Development Monitoring Committee (SDMC) as per the Right to Education Act. We will then analyze the gap between law and implementation.
  3. For understanding this gap, we will interview and have a discussion with various SDMC members.
  4. We propose that we should create a model SDMC in the school we have selected. Mr. Niranjan mentioned that to achieve this, we should create a strong link between the Panchayat and the SDMC.
  5. We will also be requiring a permission letter from the BO of the village. This will require a letter from APU.
  6. The tentative next step will be one awareness program for the school.
  7. We asked Mr. Niranjan for examples of schools with a well-functioning SDMC. He invited us to visit the SDMCs at Ranmagar Schools.
  8. We were also informed about the CCL office in Bidadi which is engaged in the SDMC project. We plan to visit this office after our initial study.
  9. To gather information on SDMC and related laws, we were informed by Mr. Niranjan to look at the Karnataka Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2009.
  10. Nearing the end of our conversation, we generally discussed the state of SDMCs and their importance in improving public education.

Rules and Prepared Checklist Questionnaire

Jan 18, 2017

Conditions which are required by Rules (Right To Education) for a functional SDMC in a school:

Formation Requirements

General Body (GB) Meeting of parents/guardians

All parents/guardians of children studying in the school will constitute the membership of the GB of the SDMC.

  1. Presence of members elected by GB for representation of parents on the executive committee of the SDMC, by consensus or, if needed, by voting.

Executive Committee of the SDMC

Teachers and other members (1/3rd of the SDMC) along with the elected members from the parents

  1. Whether Executive Committee has elected office bearers of the SDMC as per norms specified in the Act.
  2. Whether sub-committees (which are optional) are constituted which include members from the GB for specific functions. All these committees would be responsible towards the GB of the SDMC.

Functional Requirements

  1. Regular meetings of SDMC members.
  2. Maintaining of the SDMC record.
  3. Whether SDMC meetings take place once in a month? Whether minutes of meetings are maintained?
  4. Whether any school development plan has been drawn? If so, details of the plan.
  5. Whether there are mentally or physically disabled children in school. If there are, what facilities are being provided to them?
  6. Annual account of receipts and expenditure.
  7. What was the method adopted in electing the members?
  8. When was the last election held? Are SDMC elections conducted every three years?
  9. Who is the Chairman and Vice-Chairman? What was the mode of election?
  10. Are there 16 elected members?
  11. Does SDMC represent all social group in the community: SCs/STs/ Minorities?
  12. Does SDMC have representation in the form of a health worker and an anganwadi worker?
  13. Does SDMC have representation from philanthropists or educationalists in the locality?
  14. How many women members are there in this SDMC?
  15. Whether the SDMC members have ever tried to communicate the rights of children and duties of the PRI, the teachers and the parents.
  16. Have the SDMC members ever received any complaints from teachers? If yes, what was their response to the complaints and how were the issues resolved?
  17. Whether any enrollment drives was conducted by SDMC? And what were they?
  18. Whether the members brought notice of any PRI violation of RTE?
  19. Have the members ever done a need-based assessment of the school for the purpose of preparing development plans?

Meeting with an SDMC member

Mother of one of the kids at the school

Feb 01, 2017

We had a meeting with the mother of Laxmi (a student in the school we were working at). The mother is an SDMC member, however, surprisingly, she wasn’t even aware thta she was one.

She was hesitant to meet with us because she thought that she is not the right person for us to meet because she was an illiterate female. We faced a few navigation issues because she was unable to guide us to her house with ease. Eventually, we were able to visit her at her house and have a peaceful discussion.

Their house was a small room, which was lovingly, neatly kept, despite it being used as a bedroom, kitchen and puja room. Once she met us, she seemed relaxed, willing to talk, and opened up quite a bit. She appeared to be warm and loving, she even asked us to stay back and invited us to have dinner with her and her family.

She said she did not know that she was a SDMC member, but she is more than willing to go to the meeting if it benefits her kid. She wants Laxmi to become a doctor. She said that she is worried that her child has to sit on roads to have her food and that she doesn’t get the milk which she is supposed to get under the Mid-day Meals Scheme.

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