NISA Annual Meeting and Elections

Event Date: 
Friday, 19 April, 2013 to Saturday, 20 April, 2013
Event Venue: 
YMCA
New Delhi, India

NISA, in partnership with Centre for Civil Society, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Grey Matters Capital Foundation and Acumen Fund organised a two-day workshop on quality of education and experiences and learnings around the RTE. The workshop, on 19th and 20th April, brought together over 50 delegates representing low-fee and budget private schools, education service providers and thought leaders and NGOs working in the field of education, at the YMCA in Connaught Place, New Delhi.

The conference saw the participation of 13 different states: Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh The workshop provided a space for representatives to share their individual advocacy initiatives in their respective states.

Day 1 began with a talk by one of our participating service providers. Eduminate, an organisation providing consultation services in the education sector, highlighted the importance of life skills education for the overall development of a child. In the next session, representatives shared their experiences on the challenges and the progress of the Right to Education Act in their respective states. The following were the key issues highlighted about the Act:

  • Section  19: It deals with the school recognition norms. It was seen that states such as Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi had governments were actively implementing the norms of the RTE. However at the same time state governments such as UP hadn’t even started implementing the RTE.
  • Section 12 : It was seen that in most states, the Government is unclear about the amount of reimbursement to be given to the private schools for the 25% reservation.
  • 6th Pay Commision: A majority of the participants felt that it was unfair for the government to set a standard salary for each teacher and that it is not feasible for private schools charging very little fees to pay each teacher a salary of 25,000 per month.

A working group discussion on school ratings took up the second half of the day. Representatives of  the schools were asked to rate the indicators for a good school. School Infrastructure, School Management and Teacher Qualification were ranked as the top three indicators. A few participants also highlighted the importance of student learning outcomes. The day ended with a talk by Satish Kapoor, Founder and President of  We Care Film Festivals. He highlighted the importance of mainstreaming disability in private schools.

Day 2 started off with service providers, MangaHigh  and Tuttr talking about innovations in math learning through the medium of internet games.

The highlight of the second day was the election for the NISA council. Office bearers were elected and appointed. The NISA Secretariat now comprises of: R.C Jain, President, Kulbhushan Sharma, Vice President Advocacy, Ekta Sodha, Vice President Quality and Subhash Singh, Treasurer.

After the elections, members assigned themselves to office bearers, thus forming committees. These committees then worked in groups to devise a comprehensive to do list for advocacy at the state as well as the central level. Each of the office bearers then presented their annual plan for NISA 2013. The day ended with a discussion on these annual plans. A consensus was reached that elected members will promote state specific issues as well as the NISA platform as a whole.

The two-day event ended with the Council finalising its annual plan. CCS pledged Rs 3 Lakh to the NISA Council for its work for the year 2013 and promised to match any revenue NISA generated through its independent fundraising activities.

The NISA Council will meet again in July to review its progress over the next three months.