Representatives of management committees in schools in east Delhi have prepared a charter of demands, asking the government for widespread reforms in the way schools are managed in the city.
The representatives tried to meet education minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday but were denied permission.
"It was important for us to meet him as the vote on account was to take place and a number of suggestions had to do with school finances. We had an appointment but couldn't meet him because he was apparently busy with other things, said Rekha Koli, member JOSH, an organisation that works on education, especially in east Delhi.
The school management committees (SMC) have prepared a nine-point charter of demands, which includes asking for more funds given to schools for maintenance, opening a separate account for the SMC and making the expenditure public and putting it online.
"As of now, municipal schools get only Rs. 50,000 per annum for maintenance. This amount is Rs. 2 lakh in the case of Delhi government schools. Considering the condition a majority of the schools in the city are in, this amount is very little. No contractor will do any maintenance work for a school for Rs. 50,000. This amount needs to increase if we are to improve the infrastructure," said Koli.
The other demands that have been raised include 50% reservation for women in the SMC, a separate wing for SMCs under the Directorate of Education and transparency in SMC meetings and decisions. The charter of demands also asks the government to issue orders to make parents the chairperson of SMCs instead of the head of the institution.
SMCs are elected bodies, mandatory in every school under the Right to Education Act. Parents, teachers and the head of the institutions are part of the SMC.
The idea behind setting up SMCs is to involve all stakeholders, including parents, in the decision making at schools.
According to several studies conducted on quality of education and institutions, it has been found that schools, where parents participate in decision-making, tend to do better in terms of learning outcome and child health.