SCHOOL BASED MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES (SBMC) OF THE EDUCATION SECTOR SUPPORT PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA (ESSPIN) Introduction ESSPIN is a six year partnership (2008 -2014) between the Nigerian Government and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The programme supports Federal and State governments to develop effective planning, financing and delivery systems that will improve the quality of basic education. ESSPIN works in Kaduna state with the ministry of education to plan, manage and better monitor its services: the programme also works in with the communities, civil society, media, political representatives and schools to provide technical assistance, share information, agree standards and build demand for better educational systems. This it does primarily through the School Based Management Committees. School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) are an essential link between schools and the communities they serve. SBMCs are made up of a range of local people involved with their school. SBMCs work to increase communities involvement with education through Participatory Governance in Education, and to help improve the quality and effectiveness of schools. They provide a way to help the education authorities to listen to what adults and children want from schools, and a way to increase the contributions of every one in the local area to making education work well. Fantsuam Foundation is an implementing partner from civil society on the ESSPIN programme in kaduna state, her role is to facilitate the set-up of the SBMCs in 28 primary schools in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the state, provide mentoring and conduct monitoring and evaluation her activities over the course of the programme. This document is a summary of how the programme operates and how participatory approaches are being used to achieve the objectives of the programme. What is an SBMC, and what does it do? SBMC Overview The School-Based Management Committee development initiative commenced with a 3-Phase visioning process in July 2009. The first State Level Visioning Process (SLVP-1) sought the views of the state educational policy makers and implementers on ways of establishing functional SBMCs in each of the five states (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara and Lagos) being supported by ESSPIN. The Community Level Visioning Process (CLVP) on the other hand, engaged stakeholders at the school-community level on discussions on SBM policy formulation. The final phase of the visioning process, tagged State Level Visioning Process (SLVP-2) is to harmonize views on school-based management (SBM) at SLVP-1 and CLVP and arrive at a draft policy framework for the SBM in each state. The outcome is a policy developed by participatory methods to ensure Participatory Governance in Education in Nigeria In Nigeria, a school Based Management committee (SBMC) is established to act as a bridge between the school system and Local communities who use them. SBMCs are intended to contribute to school development planning and decision - making at the school level for improved learning outcomes. They are voluntary groups made up of people who represent the school community and may include pupils, teachers, parents, and community Leaders as well as other community- based groups interested in education. SBMCs meet regularly and organize activities to improve the way school operates and support the government's responsibility of ensuring quality education for all, they are usually involved in: contributing to the overall planning management and monitoring of school and to the decision making process encouraging the interest of both community and government to support school improvement enabling the wider community to have a voice in the improvement of education Monitoring, and communicating issues to the community and to Local /state governments. The Vision of the programme is to have SBMCs which support and facilitate Governments’ drive in the development and improvement of educational services in the state. The goal is to achieve high school attendance and improved learning out comes for all students through improving school management and ensuring the wide participation of communities. The diagram below shows some of the strategies and activities SBMCs use to turn their vision into action: Ensure good relationship Key Between the community and Roles and school Be involved in enrolment Monitor on- going projects,eg drive School building work Responsibilities of SBMCs Vision Ensure respect for cultural Serve as bridge between the Community ,LGEAs, SUBEB and SMOE Of Values within the school environment SBMC Some of the key roles Enlighten the government and Ensure proper usage and security of The community on specific Materials provided for the Educational needs of the school school that SBMCs are expected to perform in Kaduna state are: Encouraging parents to send their children to school and support them to complete their education, especially girl children Engaging in raising awareness about education and promoting it within the community Advising school authorities on teacher's behavior and commitment to work Monitoring pupil/student performance Facilitating the representation of children's voice in the decision- making processes Participating in School Development Planning How the SBMC membership works Each SBMC will be representative of the entire community with an interest in improving the learning outcomes of the pupils/students in schools. The membership SBMC shall be composed of a maximum of 17 members. Interest Group Number in SBMC Traditional leader 1 Headteacher of the school 1 Representative of Teachers and NUT (female Male) 2 Representatives of pupils (Female and Male) 2 Representatives community (Female and Male) 2 Representatives of Old pupils 1 Representatives of youths 1 Representative of community Based Associations (Female and Male) 2 PTA representatives (Female and Male) 2 Representatives of Artisan 1 Representatives of Religious organizations (Muslim and Christian) 2 Total 17 SBMC membership; members will initially be selected by the community with the oversight of the (Local Government Education Authority) LGEA, but once firmly established they will be elected. It is important that SBMC members are honest, trustworthy and acceptable to the community they represent. Shared values and behavior are also important to providing good school governance in line with codes of conduct established by the state education laws. SBMC members will select an executive from amongst its including. Chairman Vice Chairman Secretary Treasurer (should not be a member of the school administration or a teacher) Press Relations Officer SBMC members will: Serve for period of 3 years, renewable based on re-election Meet twice per school term Call emergency meetings if important decisions need to be made between scheduled meetings. Not meet with less than two thirds of the SBMC membership present Forming committees: within SBMCs committees will be established where special focus is needed: for example it will be necessary to form a finance committee to support the support the SBMC with managing money . Forming women's committee and children's committees can greatly support these groups to participate fully and confidently in all SBMC meetings and activities. How the SBMC strengthens partnership and promote participation, inclusion and sustainability For schools to be effective, strong partnerships must exist between the head teacher, the teachers, pupils, parents, SBMC members and members of the wider community. It is also important that the way SMBCs are selected and organized can contribute to building partnership, increasing voice and demand for better education delivery through active participation Partnerships SBMCs are expected to exist in harmony with other similar bodies that have an interest in educational development. The values of trust, mutual respect and shared understanding will also be very important in working alongside the school head teacher, the PTA and the LGEA. SBMCs will develop ways for working in consultation with wider groups of partners. Strong partnerships between SBMCs of neighboring communities are also important. This kind of partnership and collaboration can be developed for example through: Learning visits to SBMCs which are already functional to learn from their experience Focus group visits/meetings with education service providers to discuss issues Establishing partnerships with local role modes - artisans, business people, local charities, cooperatives or CBOS Formal contacts with interested organizations, groups or individuals including the media Linking women's committees to each other and reaching other marginalized groups Participation and inclusion The guiding Policies for setting up the SBMC is clear about the active participation of the wider community in school panning and monitoring. The wider community includes women and children, and other community members who may not generally have a strong voice. Strategies to ensure that these groups participate in the decision-making processes of SBMCs include: i. Using participatory tools like peer-wise ranking, scorecards and problem trees in identifying problems and solutions Ensuring their involvement in all SBMC activities. It is also important to heard the voices of children who are out of school Encouraging parents and husbands to allow women and children, to fully involved in the SBMC Sharing information with SBMC members on the importance and benefits of including women and children 's voices in SBMC processes Training SBMC member on child awareness, protection of children in schools and the benefits of their participation in SBMC ii. Raising Awareness The SBMC can actively increase participation by: involving and gaining the support of local, religious and traditional leaders in raising awareness about education; organizing enrollment campaigns; use of community drama, and speaking widely about the responsibility of community and government to make sure that all children enroll in and complete primary school, make the transition to junior secondary and access quality education. Female SBMC members can also be highlighted as role models, particularly for other women and for girls in communities. SBMC are expected to promote and disseminate information such as; All children have the right to education as specified in the National constitution The government has the responsibility to ensure that all children receive a good quality education regardless of their family's ability to pay All children, including boys, girls, children with disabilities, children who do not speak the main language, and children without parents should go to school Girls who are married have exactly the same rights to go to school as other children A good education should help your children to read and write, become a responsible citizen and help you and your family live and healthy life. It is possible to have both Western and Islamic education The community can ask for improved quality of education service delivery from those responsible. Ensuring Accountability: Keeping clear records of activities, finances and decisions made, and sharing these records, will ensure accountability of the SBMC to the community and the school it is serving, and to the relevant government bodies. This will ensure: · Increased teacher and pupil participation · Strong and trust amongst all groups · Active partnership in decisions affecting the school · Improved learning outcomes of pupils in schools While the SBMC is accountable to the state Ministry of education, SUBEB and the LGEAs these bodies are also expected to monitor and guide to the SBMCs to enable them to perform effectively and efficiently. SBMCs should provide feedback to their wider communities once a quarter, and submit an annual report (progress and financial) to all stakeholders. The SBMCs will need to keep accurate records of meetings with different groups and report on their activities to the Head Teacher and school support officers. Communicating with other organizations: The SBMC should meet regularly with other local organization working to improve education. By working together, learning and combining strengths, positive change can be achieved. Collaboration with the following stakeholders should take place: PTA Parent Teacher Association NUT Nigeria Union of Teachers OPA Old Pupils Association ANCOPSS All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools CSACEFA Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All MDA Ministries, Departments and Agencies Motivating SBMC Members Whilst the SBMCs will run on a voluntary basis, ways of acknowledging their work, motivating them to continue can be considered by communities, LGEAs and government. Acknowledgment of time given by SBMCs to their work can encourage and motivate them. Ways of showing appreciation in kind can be developed as appropriate at community level. Organizing Community Feedback Meetings It is important for the SBMC to have regular review meetings with the whole community to update members on progress, raise new issues and ideas and continue to encourage community members to support efforts to improve education. Including the community in review and monitoring a well as in planning will strengthen their voice in Relation to education and also promote community ownership of the school. The Head Teacher in consultation with the Chair should lead the community review meeting, supported by the SMBC executive. The school report card can be presented at community meetings and the community, including children and women can be asked about their opinions on performance and the key learning outcomes. Amended information should then be recorded for the next SBMC meeting at an agreed location. SBMC and its role in School development planning School development plans help schools to get from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. They are plans to make schools better places for children to learn. A plan is based on a sound understanding of where is the school is now – its strengths and it weakness. It brings together the views of a wide range of people and groups (stakeholders) with an interest in education on how the school should and can improve, establishing common, agreed goals for the school. It then organizes everyone’s effort towards meeting these goals. Finally it sets a framework for monitoring progress and evaluating the impact of everyone’s efforts. School development planning is made up a series of simple steps and is led by the Head Teacher, in close cooperation with the SBMC (of which he or she is a member). The SBMC has a clear role at every step, as part of its function; the SBMC has a responsibility to use its collective knowledge, skills and experience to help the school develop its SDP. It has a responsibility to document how well the school is doing and report on this to the wider community. A key activity for the SBMC will be keeping the SDP under review Step 1: Setting the improvement agenda Before starting school development planning, all those with an interest in the school’s performance need to be informed about its purpose and structure, their role in it and why it is necessary. The school development planning process should begin with an initial meeting between the Head teacher and the SBMC to share information about the SDP. The local school supervisor should also attend to offer guidance throughout the whole process. Initially the civil society organization and government partners will also contribute. This initial meeting should highlight that the SDP exists to improve students’ achievement. At this meeting the SBMC and the Head teachers should develop a simple plan to involve and inform the main stakeholders, including women as well as men, and find ways of including others. The SBMC will need to know how to conduct meetings with key stakeholders together with a range of ways of communicating information to the wider community The SBMC will need to understand how to encourage the participation of women and other potentially marginalized groups. Step 2: Analyzing the school’s current situation The next step is for the main stakeholders to agree on what the schools’ needs are. To do this they need to understand the school’s strengths and weaknesses. This information is provided by the school self-evaluation, which presents a picture of where the school is on a few key issues. The process of self-review is an on-going one, but once a year it is put together into a simple report by the Head teacher who is responsible for leading the process with teachers, pupils and parents. Step 3: Recording the school’s Needs The records will be shared this with the wider community at a meeting at which the SBMC and the stakeholders together will carry out a prioritization exercise using scorecards and peer-wise ranking. At this meeting the main stakeholders will agree a list of four or five key priorities for action over the period of a year. Monitoring progress If the plan is to be a useful guide to the activities aimed at meeting priority needs, it will need to be monitored to make sure it meets the agreed aims. The whole school community will be interested in what progress is being made – keeping people well informed will contribute to keep up levels of involvement. The monitoring process will highlight progress made on the situation presented at the self-evaluation stage and against the targets in the plan. What the SBMC will monitor The SBMCs will monitor progress towards the targets set at the planning stage to find out if progress is being made towards the priorities and targets set. If there is no progress it would be important to find out why, so that this information can be shared and relevant adjustments with new targets made. To do this, the SBMC will: talk to a wide range of people in and out of school, including children (as they are the ones doing the learning) and to their parents refer to the self evaluation, the plan and records kept at different stages of the SDP cycle, and to records kept in the school Visit schools and observe facilities and activities Check information gathered from a few different sources to see if the information remains the same, rather than relying on just one source Evaluating Impact At the end of the year, the whole school community will want to know what happened and the extent to which this has matched the plan. There are two aspects that they will be interested in: What did we actually manage to do? This will include the activities that were actually carried out, together with the resources that were used. What difference did all this make to student achievement (what was the impact?) School development planning is a continuous cycle of planning and implementation, so once one year's plan has been implemented and resources accounted for, planning can start for the next year. The process begins again by reviewing whether the goal of improving student achievement remains the same (it is likely to) and then moving to the school self evaluation. It is to assumed that there will be some significant changes when the school evaluates its performance, as a result of the years’ efforts to improve on past performance. This is also the right time to discuss with the various stakeholders groups how happy they have been with their involvement in the entire process. Whistle they will have contribute to regular community review meetings throughout the year, this is an opportunity to look at the whole process and the final outcomes and discuss these. General Monitoring The SBMC has an important role to play in monitoring the progress of the school Development Plan. It also has a wider role to play in monitoring what happens generally in and around the school and using this monitoring information to act on improvements. What the SBMC monitors which children are not enrolled in school, and why: all children in the community should be enrolled in school – male and female children with disabilities and children from poor families. In finding out why some children are still not attending school, the SBMC can work with other partners and develop strategies to include them in school. Which children are dropping out of school early, and why: many children, particularly girls out of school either before the end of primary or at the time for transition to secondary education. The SBMC can monitor this situation in their community and work on strategies with parents and community members to support children to finish their education. The quality of the school infrastructure and environment: the school environment is one of the contributing factors to the quality of education that children receive. The SBMC can monitor the condition, cleanliness and security of the school and take action to improve it. School resources: the SBMC will need to monitor both material and financial resources that come into the school, for example: have school funds been spent appropriately and as planned? Are there enough books and materials for children in the school? Teaching and learning: teachers have a responsibility to be punctual and to remain in school all day and their absence will have an adverse effect on pupil's progress. SBMCs can assist in monitoring teacher's attendance in identifying why pupils are not attending school and talk to children and their parents to support them to attend. Pupil welfare issues: children need safe, positive and encouraging learning environments to learn to the best of their ability. SBMCs can contribute to providing this environment and finding out why children drop out of or do not attend school. Measuring progress In order to know if progress is made, the SBMCs will need to conduct a baseline survey at the start of their activities. They will need to speak with the head teacher to collect information such as: which children are already enrolled and which attend regularly which children have dropped out how many days of absence each teacher has per month what the physical condition of the school is how pupil welfare is perceived by children, parents, parents, teachers and others Making improvements Once baseline monitoring information has been collected, the SBMC will meet with the head teacher, the local school support officer, parents and the wider community to agree which improvements are realistic. They will also need to agree on action to be taken if targets for improvements are not met. If some teachers have been absent a lot for example, it may take some time for this situation to improve. Targets set to improve this situation would need to be realistic and achievable in the time frame. Teachers may need some encouragement to reach agreed targets - they are often motivated by Praise and recognition as well as by rules and supervision. Involving children and the wider community in the monitoring process Children know a lot about their schools and what is really happening inside them. Children have many ideas about what makes a good school and it makes sense to ask them about their education and involve them in monitoring . Children usually know for example: how well they are learning and what affects their ability to learn the kinds of problems other children face in the school and in accessing school how punctual and regular teachers are in their attendance and how they relate to pupils what would make school better for all children. If children are to be involved in the monitoring process, the SBMC will need to ensure that they are not placed in situations that may cause them harm at the time or at a later stage. It will be important to sensitize adults in the community on children's participation and its benefits. The wider community should also be involved in the monitoring process, the SBMC represent the views of the the wider community and link the community with the school, so it is important to ask community members what their view of progress is. The wider community will participate in community review meetings. The community can also do some monitoring. Community monitors can be identified and given the role of monitoring specific areas. If well planned, implemented and supported by the SBMC, this can generate useful and very relevant monitoring information. Community monitors could for example help monitor on children who are out of school, or who drop out of school early. Information collected could be presented and discussed at the community review meetings. SUPPORT AND ACCESS TO FAMILY PLANNING EXPANDED (SAFE) Project Overview Fantsuam Foundation and Partners for Development have established a strong community- based approach that meets the needs of people in rural communities. With support from The Packard Foundation, they have implemented an Integrated Family Planning Reproductive Health (FP/RH) information service component into their existing microcredit activities across 10 chiefdoms in the southern part of kaduna state through their partnership with. Subsequently, with additional funding from the Packard Foundation, they have partnered to implement a community-based promotion, family planning! HIV/AIDS/ STI prevention and control project. PFD and Fantsuam Foundation are now implementing a new phase of this work through the Support and Access to Family Planning Expanded (SAFE) with the main aim of improving access to and utilization of family planning services and commodities in Northern Nigeria. The objectives of the project are: 1. Increase number of contacts with women of reproductive age (WRA) to promote - Family Planning (FP) and Safe Motherhood (SM). 2. To increase the number of health centers to provide FP, SM, and basic health services 3. To create an enabling environment to increase community advocacy and cost share contributions to program goal. 4. Strengthen partners’ capacity to sustain RH/FP services 5. Institutionalize drug/commodity revolving funds 6. Build skills for improving community participation in RH/FP services 7. Strengthen Health Committee Roles in improving RH/FP services 8. Build skills for expanding RH/FP services 9. Leverage expanded support from new LGAs 10. Ensure RH/FP counselling skills for new CHEWS and Credit officers Activities To achieve the stated objectives we have carried several activities: Incrementally cover more RH/FP costs from credit income Produce draft plans designating income source for RH/FP services Produce cash flow plan for replenishing drugs and commodities PFD provides technical assistance to finalize and support plan Ensure no stock-outs for essential drugs and commodities Helping community leaders form/strengthen village health committees - Help village health committees to interview stakeholder groups Health committees organize meetings to review stakeholder findings Health committees assist in implementing public meeting findings Make first advocacy visits to new LGA leadership Negotiate tripartite MOUs with LGAs and Clinics New LGAs/Clinics offer RH/FP services to SAFE project referrals PFD gives Training of Trainers in RH/FP curriculum to partners Step-down RH training to CHEWS (Community Health Extension Workers) and Credit officer serving new areas CHEWS and Credit officers extend RH/FP training in new LGAs Figure 1The diagram shows the cycle of activities in 1st phase of the project. Participatory methods and tools used during project implementation Collaboratory mechanism between partners were agreed upon before the start of the project, partners jointly developed quarterly work plans and budgets, they agreed to be in communication at least three times a week to check on progress of activities according to the work plans. The target communities and health facilities were decided on after a focus group discussion with the field officers, local chiefs and program officers of each partner organization. Advocacy visits to partner local communities and leaders, and local government were organized on a monthly basis to raise awareness and promote the project. The Partners, in collaboration with the target communities, identified community focal Persons(gate keepers), to serve as activists new activists for the project. Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs), local government staff who had undergone Fantsuams’ volunteering training were designated who to work at the community level to conduct community mobilization to increase demand for FP/RH services and referrals to the Chosen Health facilities. 3 persons were elected during a meeting with community members, leaders and the implementing partners to serve on the community health committee. Fantsuam and PFD agreed conduct regular monitoring visits to Clinic supervisors, CHEWs, community focal persons and health centers to ensure that the project was meeting its targets.