The role of society and parents in strengthening a school in a community can never be ignored. The parents in all times have been recognized as key stakeholders in the quality education process. Therefore, the government realized need for more engagement of parents in the education process by establishing Parents Teachers School Management Committee (PTSMC). The formation of the PTSMC first launched in 1996 where the government with the help of None Profit Organizations succeeded in establishing about 5,000 PTSMCs all over Balochistan. Some funds to the Education Department of Government of Balochistan were allocated in 2001 and 2002 under Education Sector Reforms (ESR), where the community was made a partner to undertake the assignment in 17 districts under President Grant and in all 22 districts under ESR Program.
The chief objectives of PTSMCs establishment were to have an effective and operational representative body of parents and teachers for education quality assurance at the grass root level; increase enrollment and decrease dropout rates. It also aimed at supporting government functionaries in carrying out related activities within and outside the school.
For years, we have seen inactive PTSMCs in the communities. Parents are very passive participation in the PTSMCs whereas the active members are very limited to only 2-3 individuals and in most cases they are school teachers. The observations prove that quality of education or learning outcomes is still missing from the conversation of PTSMCs, mainly, infrastructural issues and concerns. In rural communities there exists a power relation between parents and teachers. It is felt that parents do not feel comfortable in sharing their opinions or criticizing school affairs in the presence of teachers belonging to schools where their children are enrolled.
If the PTSMCs are active and play their due role so they can leave long lasting impacts in education sector. There is great need to revisit and redefine roles, responsibilities, powers and structure of PTSMCs. It is very important to empower local government which can help resolving issues at grassroots.
The Balochistan Point
Published in The Balochistan Point on December 22, 2016