Decentralization and Role of School Development Committees in Public Schools in Sri Lanka

Case Study in the Colombo District

In this paper, Chandana Arachchi discusses the nature of the implementation of School Development Committees (SDC) in the government school sector in Sri Lanka. The Programme of School Improvement (PSI) is being implemented in Sri Lanka since 2006, in which schools are anticipated to form School Development Committees (SDC) to make school decisions. Within the context of education decentralization through the PSI, role of the SDC in school management, particularly access to and control over decision making and challenges faced by the stakeholders was investigated in this study.

Since the PSI implementation, the decision making process has been significantly changed. It seems that most schools do not implement authentic democratic and participatory decision making style and participatory management approaches in school management. Most of the principals still perform the key role in decision making in the schools. Principal’s responsibility and accountability has been improved since he/ she has to execute new roles in school management. Lack of resources, negative attitudes and lack of awareness of the stakeholders are the key barriers to perform role of the SDC.

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