Shared Platform

  • Voluntary Forum for Education is a joint platform of Non-government Organizations and individuals dedicated to the cause of education, school education in particular.
  • More than two hundred and fifty NGOs are associated with the forum spread over all the districts of Bihar.
  • Established on 5 September 2003 it has undertaken several programs since then. However its activities have become more frequent since 2007.
 

Structure & Organizational Principles

  • The Forum consciously follows principles of democratic decision making, collective leadership and sharing of responsibilities.
  • Individual members of the Forum function autonomously but maintain a high degree of transparency in their work and provide  relevant information about activities and finances, which will soon posted on website.
  • General Body of all the members is the highest policy-making level of the Forum, which among other things guides and controls the working of Steering Committee.
  • Steering Committee, comprising at least 15 member selected by the General Body, is the executive body responsible for the day to day functioning of the Forum. Members are elected for a year and may be re-elected.
  • The Governing Body may form a core group consisting of at least five members for smooth functioning. In addition, small working groups may be constituted for specific  work or programs.
  • At the district level work is undertaken by local members and one or more than one member may be designated as convenors of district level programs.

Objectives

The Forum aims at understanding and defining the possible role of the civil society in making universal school education of equitable quality a reality in the state of Bihar. Going a step further it seeks to play a role in this large and noble enterprise, usually through collective interventions.
In order to achieve this goal, among other things, the forum undertakes the following tasks:

  1. Conducting surveys and research relating to issues concerning school education both at policy and implementation levels.
  2. Bring out study reports and recommendations based on studies and/or debates on education for the dissemination of findings.
  3. Defining stance of the NGOs in particular and civil society in general on matters relating to school education.
  4. Organising conferences, seminars, symposia, meetings at the local, district and state levels.
  5. Capacity building of NGOs and other possible players like VSS members or PRI functionaries.
  6. To act as a pressure group to bring about reforms in educational policy, programs and pedagogy.

Notable Programs/Initiatives

Other than carrying out the task of organization-building several programs have been undertaken by the Forum from time to time. Some of the important programs are listed below:

  • October 2003: Workshop on Innovations and possible role of NGOs
  • Directly involved in the Three days’ long program on education called PAHAL 2005, which covered discussions themes like Common School System, Administration & Management, Possible Action Plan for education etc.
  • Forum registered its protest on the draft bill on Free & Compulsory Education 2004 posted on the website of MHRD,GOI.
  • Played a role in finalizing an alternative bill endorsed by the civil society, namely, The Right to Education for Children (Equity, Excellence and Social Justice) Bill, 2005.
  • Contributed to the finalization and release of a State Action Plan on Education in Bihar.
  • Collaborated with other organizations/agencies in holding a three days Bihar Educational Conference in June 2007
  • Organized Bihar Educational Conference II with the help of Gram Vikas Samiti in December 2007.
  • Took part in Stand Up and Take Action SUTA in October 2008 in a big way as part of UN Millennium Campaign on MDGs
  • Organized Bihar Educational Conference III with the help of UN Millennium Campaign in December 2007.

Partner of UN Millenium Development Goal Campaign

While VFE has been campaigning for universal elementary education and some other MDGs since inception, it has entered formally into a partnership with the global campaign from October 2, 2008 through EWES.
During 17-19 global Stand Up and Take Action campaign VFE is participating through more than forty of its members in a series of programmes collectively chalked out in different districts of Bihar and the state capital.
Many more programmes at school, district and state level are being conducted since September 2008.

The Forum stands for the following

Elementary education is a fundamental right and as such should be accorded highest priority and full financial support.

Every child must be brought to a regular school without any delay and enabled to complete at least ten years of schooling.

Common School System recommended by Kothari Commission and accepted in the subsequent policy documents should be introduced with appropriate changes to suit contemporary requirements of society.

Transitional arrangements for difficult category of children should be planned and managed generally by NGOs with adequate financial support from the government.

Management  of the education system should be decentralized and transferred to the PRIs working in close collaboration with the civil society.

Special attention must be paid and suitable interventions designed to ensure that children from weaker sections, including dalits and minorities receive quality education without any handicap.

The principle of inclusive education should be faithfully followed whether for the disabled children or for the children of weaker sections.

The state should have a clear education policy and a network of support institutions at the state and district levels.

Curriculum design, delineation of syllabi, writing of text books and preparation of the teachers are of great value to universalize quality education in Bihar.

Environment education, teaching of life skills and vocational education are important areas which must be covered in the design of syllabi and designers should respect the opinions and views of children ,teachers and local community.

The process of planning should begin from below and with due regard to the delivery system and the local community.

Finally the Central government ought to redeem its pledge by committing an expenditure of at least six per cent of GDP on education, and half of that should be earmarked for elementary education.

Area of Operation

Generally the Forum will work on an all India basis with Bihar being its first commitment.

Membership
Any citizen of India or any non government organization deciding to work to promote the cause of education, is welcome to become its member subject to its rules and regulations. An applicant for membership should submit its constitution, memorandum of association, last annual report and audited balance sheet.

 
Address for Contact

 

East & West Educational Society
Arogya Mandir Hospital Compound,
Nala road, Patna- 800 004
e-mail: enw1@rediffmail.com
Contact Person

 

Abhay K Pandey
Convener
Mob 91-9234071730
 

 

Daisy Narain
Secretary
East & West Educational Society Patna
Mob 91-9431022929
e-mail: daisy_narain@rediffmail.com