Sreemangal Townhall Calls for Increased Citizen Involvement in School Budgeting

In a significant step towards inclusive governance, the Sreemangal Townhall emphasized the necessity of increased citizen involvement in school budgeting, unveiling strategies to bolster participation and transparency. 

The townhall meeting addressed the critical issue of low citizen participation in school budgeting, a concern highlighted by recent findings from IID’s Citizen Scorecard. 

The townhall meeting was organized by IID on May 18th, 2024, in Sreemangal, in collaboration with the Multi-purpose Socio Economic Development Association (MSEDA). The event aimed to transform evidence into actionable commitments, reviewing previous commitments, sharing recent findings, and assessing progress. 

Discussions centered on limited awareness among citizens regarding school budgeting, the need for enhanced transparency in budget allocation, and the lack of active parental involvement. Md. Abu Taleb, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, emphasized the importance of using the Citizen Scorecard survey to improve these areas. Md. Idris Ali, a Union Parishad Member, pledged to allocate more resources to education from the Union Parishad budget, while Jaheda Sharmin, headmaster of Jangal Bari Government Primary School, stressed the urgency for informed decision-making and increased participation. 

The meeting was moderated by Tohirul Islam Milon, the chief executive of MSEDA. Key speakers included Md. Tajul Islam, head teacher of Jangal Bari Government Primary School; Parimal Sing Baraik, Chief Executive of the Moulvibazar District Tea Community Indigenous Front; Md. Idris Ali, a member of the Kalighat Union Council; and a student, Md. Jahed Hasan. These individuals contributed to the rich dialogue and collaborative spirit of the meeting. 

The meeting concluded with a commitment from participants to enhance citizen engagement in school budgeting. An action plan was formulated, focusing on raising awareness through targeted campaigns and training programs, improving budget transparency, and encouraging parental involvement by holding regular meetings and fostering open communication channels. These steps aim to foster continuous dialogue between teachers, parents, and School Management Committee (SMC) members, leading to more informed and inclusive budgeting decisions. Participants acknowledged the importance of ongoing collaboration and expressed their commitment to working together towards this shared goal.Transforming evidence into actionable commitments, the Townhall Meeting in Sreemangal brought together local stakeholders to discuss the findings from IID’s Citizen Scorecard and address the issue of low citizen participation in school budgeting.

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