SSA provides for training/capacity building of members of Village Education Committees, School Management Committees, Parent Teacher Associations etc. The norms provide for training of four persons in a village plus two persons per school for two days in a year- preferably women at the rate of Rs. 30 per day per person. The VEC/SMC etc. and community are generally sensitized and oriented on their role and functions in the light of various interventions of SSA like gender, civil works, procurement procedures, Inclusive Education etc.
It would be impossible for RTE as well as SSA to succeed without people’s support and ownership. The RTE mandate for age appropriate admission of every out-of-schoolchild, special training for each child to enable his/her to cope in school, promoting child-friendly child centered and activity based learning processes, which is free of anxiety, trauma and fear sets the agenda for proactive community participation. Community participation would be a central and overarching factor in planning, implementation and monitoring interventions for universal elementary education. SSA is working towards enhancing participation of the community, parents, teachers and children by awareness generation and interventions for community mobilization. To facilitate such a massive mobilization and solicit active participation, state, district, block and cluster offices of SSA are need to join hands with experienced and active civil society organizations.
This would be an important area of community involvement. The Act clearly out lines the functions to be performed by SMCs. Some of these functions, for example, preparation of school development plans, will require significant investments in capacity building. Past experience has shown that mere setting up of committees does not ensure their meaningful participation in programmes. Moreover, although provision is made in membership of these committees for inclusion of women and persons from disadvantaged communities, in reality, they are excluded from decision-making processes. Therefore, the role of community would be critical in making the SMCs an effective democratic space. It needs to be highlighted that the nature of such interventions cannot be one time training but must necessarily be a long term involvement.