Chhattisgarh responds to Centre’s move on encouraging and incentivising private and philanthropic activity in the education sector

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Raipur

As National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 gives emphasis on encouraging and incentivising private and philanthropic activity in the education sector and invites suggestions from states, Chhattisgarh has responded to the Centre on the same with a ‘suggestive framework’. Jitendra Shukla, Director, Directorate of Public Instructions and Special Project Director, Chhattisgarh, has moved the suggestive framework to the Centre.

According to suggestion forwarded to the Central government, the first and foremost criteria for the successful implementation of this programme is to have a Special Cell to look after the implementation and collaboration strategic partnerships. A team has to be in place which may be made responsible to find and propose meaningful partnerships. Some of the areas where such partnerships could work successfully.  The areas are building of schools under which government can share a unique model with districts and create demand from district authorities and support in the implementation of the programme. Chhattisgarh has planned to open English Medium Schools in urban and semi-urban areas and funds for the same is raised from DMF funds and MP-MLA funds, smart city funds etc. The existing old dilapidated buildings are renovated and given new looks to create proper learning environment.

GoI started the scheme of Model Schools in Educationally Backward Blocks of Chhattisgarh and the financial support for the Scheme was suddenly stopped, suggestive framework mentioned. State released an Expression of Interest (EoI) for giving the rights of functioning of these schools to private philanthropic sector.

All the schools are now functional as DAV Public schools. The Building is given to them on lease, they appointed the qualified teachers and made these schools functional. DAV schools were given the permission to take students from open by taking fees and government supported the fee of 25% students as per RTE.

Culture for associating school old students through alumni meet should be encouraged. And they may be given chance to support in school functioning.

Schools may be named after the donors who want to support schools in a big way and have the school name in the name of their lovable. Such facilities may be given to those donors who want to construct classrooms, develop libraries etc.

Encourage local variations and alternative models in education: In tribal naxal areas, where there was difficulty in the opening of normal schools, state preferred to open porta cabins having 500-seater residential hostels build from pre-fabricated bamboo structure.

Many students come for studies from remote rural areas and face difficulties in finding proper residential facilities. It is difficult for states to make residential hostels functional everywhere as numbers may be lesser to make a full-fledged hostel functional. In such cases, the parents may be asked to put their children as paying guest in the houses where they feel safe. The cost of paying guest may be paid by fixing a norm to parents. This will save cost for both sides.

In Kondagaon, one of the tribal districts, one Chartered Accountant interested in serving the tribal community established IMLI MAHUA School with its own curriculum, pedagogy and locally suitable co-curricular activities.

Establish partnerships with emphasis on output potential:  Some organisations like Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs support selected schools as per their requirement. When different philanthropic organisations come for such partnerships, some measurable goals may be set as outcome indictors and schools may be allotted to them to make it functional with the help of existing staff and resources as is basis through MoU.

Police department has opened a school for their staff. Such schools may be handed over to such philanthropic organizations to make it functional by giving them some achievable measurable targets.

Partnerships to develop reading materials: State seek support from different NGOs having expertise in developing reading materials like Room to Read, Learning Link Foundation and Azim Premji Foundation. State also encourages teachers to form their Professional Learning Communities. These Professional Learning Communities are assigned different tasks as per their interest and background. Very good quality materials are developed through such initiatives.

State can plan for continuous professional development of teachers with the help of different expert organizations for writing stories, children’s literature and teachers’ handbooks etc.

Different PLCs could be given the task for collecting local flavour and content with the help of community and senior students. Materials in local languages could be developed with the help of local teachers, MDM supplying women self-help groups and other local language experts.

State has initiated the process of crowd sourcing for collecting different audio, video and print materials and thousands of materials have been uploaded in our website for regular use. They are uploaded class and subject-wise. For quality check, subject experts are assigned the task of approving and validating the content.

Some organizations may also help by providing their contents’ soft copies with print rights for use in school libraries and teachers training. Such initiatives should be welcomed.

To enhance cooperation and positive synergy among schools: Schools can partner with each other for sharing of resources like books, play-ground, laboratory etc., twinning of schools and exposure visits of students/teachers, jointly organising cultural programs, co-curricular activities, use of expertise in both schools like sports teachers, subject experts, raising private philanthropic funds to enhance educational experiences.

The best example of this model is Rajasthan’s Gyan Sankalp Programe, according to suggestions given by the state. There is a dedicated portal for this- https://gyansankalp.nic.in. They have put the following options through this portal- adopt a school create your own project support a project and contribute to MukhyamantriVidyadanKosh.

The other programme worth implementing is GOIs Shala Sarathi Portal. http://apps.npglobal.in/mhrd_csr/page/about

National Education Policy suggests to add philanthropy with private to partner to achieve greater impact. Let us design a proper strategy and framework to view public-private philanthropic partnerships as a strategy for more effective public-problem solving.

\Government and Philanthropic Partnerships in Education

Philanthropy in education in India or in most parts of the world, is not new. Pioneering efforts in Indian school education were made by our gurukuls which were supported by the kingdoms. The kings used to send their children in such gurukuls where they studied life skills. These gurukuls were made functional by the community support. The students used to contact door to door to seek support and such contributions helped the gurus to run their ashrams. Later we had the Christian missionaries who started private schools and colleges in different parts of the country with support from governments. It is this history that has encouraged a number of thinkers and policy-makers in the area of educationto argue for greater autonomy for private schools in India. The provisions for spending some part of their profit as Corporate Social Responsibility- CSR also encouraged the business houses to come forward to work closely with education. The landmark in school education came with the idea of shalasarathi website where the Government was asked to upload their priority projects, CSR were supposed to choose the projects of their interest and the expert NGOs who wished to implement this project. When the CSR providing organizations matched with the NGOs and partnered for implementation, they approached the states to partner and implement the project.

\Main Objectives of such Partnerships in Education:

To make it easier for both governments as well as non-governmental philanthropic organizations to build schools

To encourage local variations on account of culture, geography and demographics and to allow alternative models in education

To establish partnerships with greater emphasis on output potentials concerning desired learning outcomes

Partnerships to develop additional textbook materials, incorporate state flavour and materials, incentivizing writers to write high-quality textbooks

To enhance cooperation and positive synergy among schools, the twinning/pairing of public and private schools

To take initiatives towards raising private philanthropic funds to enhance educational experiences 

\Guiding Principles for Government and Philanthropic Partnerships

Collaborations are only useful if they produce better outcomes for the community

Develop a formalised ‘Statement of intent’, once principles, goals, outcomes, expectations, roles and responsibilities are agreed

Recognise that collaboration works most effectively when the partners have shared values and principles, and when it meets each organisation’s guidelines and agendas

Engage each other early when the potential idea/interest/need for a collaborative approach is being considered

Build in a flexible approach to roles and responsibilities and collaboration activities in order to accommodate changing circumstances and opportunities as they arise

Government/philanthropic collaborations work better when each sector understands the others directions and priorities and philanthropy understands government’s policy environment

Address sustainability issues early, including development of a funding plan, where appropriate. As part of this, plan and develop an exit strategy if the collaboration, or partners’ involvement in it, is time limited

\Difference between Philanthropy and Government

We have to adhere to annual budget cycles. We have a certain amount of flexibility about timing.

An election can change everything. We see this work as a long term commitment.

This initiative is one of hundreds of responsibilities.    This initiative is a top priority.

An important program got cut; let’s get philanthropy to fund it.        We don’t pick up the tab for defunded services.

We value our independence.    We are accountable to the public

\Some models adopted/implemented in state:

WashingtonInteractive Radio Instruction Program      A dedicated team to design, develop interactive radio programs in education

More than 200 episodes developed to teach English- “English is Fun”

European Commission State Partnership Program-EUSPP

Functioning of model schools with DAV Functioning of model schools where support was stopped by GoI 74 Models schools closed due to lack of support started functioning again with the help of DAV as DAV Public Schools

UNICEF   Quality education, assessment         To support state initiative, UNICEF provides technical support, pool in resources from different organizations for which state otherwise would require to follow lengthy procedures,

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”                                                                                   -Henry Ford

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