Kurukshetra, November 10, 2023
In a bid to enhance the efficiency and governance of schools in Haryana, the Haryana School Shiksha Pariyojna Parishad organized a two-day workshop on October 10, 2023 and ended on November 9, 2023. The workshop focused on implementing innovative strategies through School Complexes/Clusters. The event, held at GMSSS in Kurukshetra, Jhajjar, and Sonipat, witnessed active participation from educators and administrators under the leadership of Sh. Dharam Pal, BRC.
Key Workshop Objectives:
- Addressing the Challenge of Small Schools: The workshop delved into the challenges posed by the prevalence of small schools, where nearly 28% of India’s public primary schools and 14.8% of upper primary schools have less than 30 students. These small schools face operational complexities, including the deployment of teachers and the provision of essential resources.
- Rationale for School Complexes/Clusters: Recognizing the operational and economic challenges associated with small schools, the workshop emphasized the need for a strategic approach. It proposed the establishment of school complexes/clusters, grouping schools in a radius of five to ten kilometers, including secondary schools and Anganwadis.
- Benefits of School Complexes/Clusters: The establishment of school complexes/clusters aims to improve resource efficiency, coordination, leadership, governance, and overall management of schools in the cluster. This approach fosters a sense of community, facilitates joint professional development programs, and encourages collaborative activities such as art and science exhibitions, sports meets, quizzes, debates, and fairs.
- Improved Governance: The workshop highlighted that school complexes/clusters would enhance the governance of schools. The District Education Officer (DEO) and Block Education Officers (BEO) would primarily interact with each school complex/cluster as a single unit, devolving authority and promoting innovation in pedagogies and curriculum.
- Development Plans and Autonomy: The culture of working to short-term and long-term plans was emphasized through the creation of School Development Plans (SDPs) by individual schools and School Complex/Cluster Development Plans (SCDPs). These plans, involving human resources, learning resources, infrastructure, and improvement initiatives, aim to align stakeholders and promote autonomy at the complex/cluster level.
- Cooperation and Synergy: To enhance cooperation and positive synergy among schools, the workshop proposed the twinning/pairing of one public school with one private school. This pairing encourages mutual learning, sharing of resources, and documentation of best practices.
- Bal Bhavans and Community Engagement: The workshop suggested the establishment of “Bal Bhavans” to engage children in art, career, and play-related activities. Schools were encouraged to be points of celebration for the community, restoring the dignity of the institution. The unutilized capacity of school infrastructure could be used to promote social, intellectual, and volunteer activities for the community.
In conclusion, the workshop laid the groundwork for a transformative approach to education in Haryana, aiming to create vibrant learning communities, enhance resource efficiency, and empower the schooling system in a collaborative and resource-efficient manner.