Reinforcement of Secondary School Committees (SDC2) Programme
The SDC Capacity Reinforcement programme addressed gaps in the education sector by designing a comprehensive intervention that would speak to the school administration, parents’ body and the responsible authorities.
The overall objective of the of the SDC Capacity Reinforcement programme was to help government and school governance build key skills and competences to be able to provide quality education and rebuild the sector. The intervention aimed at ensuring that government and local authorities are able to provide necessary support and capacity building to the SDC (the parents’ body) on the following vital areas;
- SDCs are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities and are fully capacitated to carry out their duties;
- SDCs build positive working relations with school administration, parents and community;
- SDCs are able to develop and work with concise school development plans;
- SDCs endeavour to create a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
Having capacitated 229 government officers and 61 personnel from local authorities in 2010, SNV supported the government and its structures to roll out the programme and build the capacity of the 5519 School Development Committees country-wide. However, the challenge was that the SDCs were elected for a one-year term after which the school had to hold an annual general meeting to dissolve the SDC and elect a new one. This would obviously present challenges of sustainability and institutional memory. There was hardly any guarantee that all if any of the incumbent SDCs members would be re-elected. It is this state of affairs that provided the litmus test for SNV intervention.
By the end of 2010 the intervention had achieved the following: 1. All 10 Provincial Education Directors and Provincial education staff together with 76 District education officers, 158 education inspectors and 61 Social Services Officers had been capacitated to carry out SDC training and support. 2. A total of 21,200 SDC members from 5519 primary schools had been trained on school management and governance. The immediate outcomes were:
- Improved understanding by SDCs of their specific roles and responsibilities.
- SDCs got to master financial and asset management procedures for schools and public funds. The 2011 evaluation report showed that from only 23.3% of schools with asset registers and asset management policies before the training, there were now 64.9%.
- SDC are now able to contribute to quality of and access to education. The training increased the SDCs' appreciation of quality schools and inclusive education.
- Improved relations among professionals, parents and community: prior to the training and from the situation analysis done jointly by SNV and the government, it had been evident that parents' mistrust and apathy were the rule in most schools. However, after the training, parents' participation in the school business was noted. The training had helped the SDC win the confidence and trust of parents and communities at large. This translated into parents’ willingness to pay their levies as they had confidence that their money would be well managed. The SDCs were able to mobilise the much needed resources and manpower from the parents and communities to carry out infrastructure construction projects.
- Resource materials: via the Provincial Education Directors, SNV produced and distributed a total of over 17,788 School Development Committee Handbooks. 5500 of these handbooks were in vernacular and have remained the bedrock of the intervention.