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10/04/2013

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GPS and RNGPS

BRAC

SMC established

Yes. One SMC was set up only recently.

Yes

Meetings

SMC meetings are held regularly, with
one exception. Meetings are called for by
the head teacher.

SMC meetings are held monthly,
coinciding with visits of BRAC
supervisors.

Decision making

There is a tendency for the head teacher
and infuential SMC members to take
important decisions.

Decisions are taken unani-
mously. For decisions on key
issues, SMC refers to the BRAC
supervisor.

School atendanceSMC members, with one exception among the GPS and RNGPS, monitor
school atendance of both children and teachers. They may conduct home
visits if a child is away from school for 3-4 days. If these visits do not bear
fruit, the teacher may conduct home visits. Such home visits, which take
place in all BRAC schools, are also an occasion to emphasise the importance
of education with parents.

Education quality

SMC members may occasionally visit the school to see the way teachers are
performing in the classroom and under what conditions.

Stipend
programme

In rural schools, SMC members
participate in the selection of students for
the primary school stipends together with
the head teacher (Bangladesh Reality
Check, 2008). They may also mediate in
case of conficts on the stipend payments.

Not applicable as children in
BRAC schools are not eligible.

Generation of
additional
resources

SMCs may get involved in generating
additional resources and funding for the
school (e.g. to employ additional
so-called ‘para teachers’, extend available
school infrastructure, pay for a cleaner for
the school or the school’s electricity bill).
The fact that some SMC members
interviewed thought that they should not
expect everything from government but
mobilize resources locally indicates a
change in mind-set.

Main resources needed for
teaching and learning are
catered for through BRAC.

The introduction of the end of primary school examination in 2009 may have provided a
catalyst for promoting beter school performance. SMC members interviewed were keen
that their school performed well in the examination and this has led to them calling
for teachers to take more care of students and teach well. SMC members of one of the
RNGPS in this respect highlighted the importance of teachers taking classes regularly
and of improving their teaching. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the admin-
istrative burdens of the head teacher. These are an indication of their commitment to
ensuring that the school performs well – something that was not evident at the start of
the evaluation period.

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The two-pronged approach: Evaluation of Netherlands support to primary education in Bangladesh

| 127 |

The key focus of work with SMCs under PEDP-II was the introduction of School Level
Improvement Plans (SLIP) together with SLIP-related training. Under the SLIP component,
schools received up to Taka 30,000 to improve school facilities.115 A pilot was conducted
in 13 Upazilas in 2007 (2 thousand schools), a ‘more informal version built around 40
UEO ‘champions’ was undertaken in 2008-9 followed by roll out to a total of 316 Upazilas
and 39.2 thousand schools in 2009-10 (GoB/DPE, 2010). At school level, the SLIP budget is
managed by the SLIP commitee which comprises SMC members, school teaching staf and
members of the PTA. However, a formative evaluation of SLIP conducted in 2009 highlights
that the SMC plays the central role in management and oversight of SLIP at the school level
(UNICEF, 2009). SMC training under PEDP-II has been instrumental in ensuring the efective
management of SLIP funds. An issue has been that members of the SLIP commitee had
to spend frst from their own money and to submit vouchers or bills to the UEO and claim
disbursement. Generally, the funding of such advances is ‘not always easy’ (GoB/DPE, 2010).

From the school visits, SLIP seems to have played a signifcant role in increasing SMC
members’ engagement in school management. Examples of such actions from the feld
work include an SMC taking a decision to build a boundary wall for the school (50% of the
money came from SLIP and the remainder was collected locally). This was also reported by
UNICEF (2009): ‘It was apparent from all of the school authorities and SMCs interviewed
that SLIP is making a major diference to their status as managers; they can now not simply
make expenditure plans, but also act on them’. The same UNICEF report also draws aten-
tion to the fact that gains are fragile and will need consolidating. It also indicates that
the SLIP has been successful in meeting the modest objective of providing ‘a small-scale,
guaranteed fund to enable schools to plan and implement limited improvements in their
physical environment, toward creating a more welcoming learning space for children’.
DPE has nevertheless realised that it is too early ‘to comment whether or not SLIP activities
have brought efective results for the beterment of primary education’(GoB/DPE, 2010).
UNICEF moreover observed that with the SLIPs, litle progress has been made with regard
to the more complex objective of ‘a more expansive and potentially signifcant innova-
tion in decentralized education, shifing control for direction seting and management of
teaching-learning to the local level’ (UNICEF, 2009). This assumes a clear decentralisation
agenda which, as yet, is not being pursued by the government.

115

SLIPs have been used for: new teacher’s room which eased classroom space shortage, furniture for

teacher’s room, school benches; new chairs, repairs to benches, cleaning and repair of toilets and septic
tank, playfeld flling, fans and re-wiring; new toilet, repainting and repair of walls, repair of television,
Sports Day; Repairs, replacement of blackboard and fans; Ofce and classroom foors repaired, repair
of window; Repair of electric wiring and building; repair of benches (SIDA, 2010).

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Trends in primary education inputs

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