A Game changer: School Based Management Committee (SBMC)

During this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting, John Dada of Fantsuam Foundation announced:

“We think the SBMC is a game changer in our rural schools”

By the end of our weekly typed Skyped meeting (uses less bandwidth) John had convinced me why the ESSPIN programme and SBMCs are such a game changer.

John explained that Comfort Kazanka was “attending a mentoring meeting in a village about 30km from Fantsuam. She is meeting the School Based Management Committee to ensure that they include the voices of women in their deliberations. It is part of a DFID educational support program called ESSPIN. Fantsuam is supervising 84 schools in our area. ESSPIN is a continuing program.

The first phase was to make the host communities develop a buy-in for the management of the public schools in their communities.

Before then, we had PTAs, (Parents Teachers Associations) which comprised only of parents whose kids were still in the school along with the teachers.

The first phase ended last year, and this year we have been asked to support what is called the ‘Consolidation Phase’

The SBMC is much broader and is typically composed of 17 members selected right across the community: Traditional ruler, women’s leaders, youths, children, persons with disabilities, artisans, each such group is represented on the SBMC.

This gives it a broad base of support within the communities to ensure that every one is carried along and the school is seen as belonging to the entire community.

So far, this model has been more efficient than the PTA and more longer-lasting. Parents and indeed the entire community now have a better sense of ownership of their schools. Community members have been known to visit schools and report erring teachers. Incidence of teacher truancy has reduced, so has children truancy.

Yesterday, at one of the meetings Comfort attended, a woman got up to say she thinks women can and should support their children to do their homework; giving them the time they need after doing the usual home chores. For such statement to come from that rural isolated

context was most heartening. And it also showed the strategic importance of giving women a voice in their children’s education.The involvement of whole communities is making it easier to get resources for the schools, and now Comfort is out to ensure that women’s voices are heard and respected on the SBMC.”

Fantsuam  is handling 85 schools to ensure that the first ESSPIN phase is consolidated and the SBMCs remain functional and self-sustaining,

Please see previous blog from 2011 “Why ESSPIN is so important” http://dadamac.net/blog/20110219/why-esspin-project-so-important Also once on that page if you type ESSPIN into the search box you will see related information.

Photos of Fantsuam Foundation ESSPIN https://flic.kr/s/aHsjri3A3L