Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Delhi Government’s Parent Outreach Programme Still to Cover Quarter of Schools

Under Parents’ Samvaad programme, every SMC member and school mitra had to stay in touch with the parents of 50 students, who live in their or a neighbouring locality
April 11, 2022
Parent Outreach Programme
Representational image. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), in a report submitted to the education department on March 29, says that out of 1,068 government schools in the city, School Management Committee members and parent volunteers had not done any interactions with parents in 250 schools under the Parents Samvad programme.

Launched in October, the Parents Samvad programme of the Delhi government mandates that every School Management Committee (SMC) member and parent volunteer or school Mitras was placed in charge of staying in touch with the parents of 50 students, who live in their or a neighbouring locality.

Every month, a theme on parenting, parent-child communication and involvement of parents in their education has to be set under the programme. Based on these, the members will be trained.

The Delhi government has also set a toll-free number through which members can contact parents, or vice-versa. In addition to talking about the child’s welfare and education, the month’s theme can be discussed.

In March, schools were directed to step up the implementation of the programme and hold physical meetings with parents.

Many key programmes are linked to school mitras, such as the Early Warning System, where if students with sustained absence are not accessible to phone, their SMC members and school mitras visit their homes. This component of the system has not come into effect still, say media reports.

While the heads of schools have been directed to do the needful, the voluntary nature of the work makes implementation a challenge, say experts.

“It is a little complicated since the school mitras are volunteers, they can’t be coerced into meetings and speaking with parents if they say they are unavailable and have their lives outside of this role,” said an official.