The city-based non-government organisations (NGOs) and the education department have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bring improvement in education sector in Chandigarh. The development came after a three-hour meeting between the NGOs and the department officials at Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 10, here on Monday.
It may be recalled that the two had signed a similar pact around four years ago but it couldn’t yield expected results as per reports.
Get out-of-school children enrolled
The education department has asked the organisations to volunteer for training the out-of-school children and getting them admitted to the city schools.
“There are around 5,400 such children in the city. It will be a great help for us if these NGOs can train the children and get them enrolled in the schools. We welcome them to help the economically weaker children by providing additional stationery, transport facility and school bags among others,”said DPI (schools) Kamlesh Kumar.
“Their efforts will be lauded in case they help the students in their homework after school hours,”he added.
No interference in school functioning
Kumar denied any interference by the NGOs in the schools. He claimed that no NGO would be allotted space on school premises but they can visit the schools in case their help is sought.
“Since the NGOs want to serve the society, especially children, they can definitely help the school children whenever they are invited for help by the school principals. We would not allow them to make schools their operational centres,”he said. He revealed that around 10 NGOs have approached him for allotment of space in the schools.
We deserve respect, say representatives
Neena Singh, who runs an NGO (Bharat Prakash Foundation) said the education department has never acknowledged the help provided to the students by the NGOs.
“We have been criticised largely after the Zulfiqar episode, which is totally unfair. We have been working in hands with the government schools for the past many years but the department has never acknowledged our efforts. School principals contact us for providing scholarships to the poor students and we are always ready to help them. Thus we deserve respect from the department,”said Singh.
NGOs to upload their profile on SSA website
In order to ensure transparency in the functioning of the NGOs, the DPI has asked the NGOs to submit their profile form and the agenda for the year with the department which will be uploaded on the SSA website- firstname.lastname@example.org . Moreover, the department has proposed to get social audit of the NGOs.
“We welcome regular monitoring by the department but at the same time expect coop eration and respect from the officials,”said Sachin, who heads Youth Innovative Society, an NGO.
School staff, NGO members argue
High drama was witnessed at the venue as heated arguments were exchanged between the teachers and the representatives of the NGOs. While few principals blamed the non-government organisations for interfering in the school functioning, the latter blamed the school staff for misbehaviour.