Currently, community participation in the school is in the form of discussions at regular general parents’ meetings, class meetings once a term and the school committee. 9 members of the community sit on the school committee. A calendar of class meetings is sent out at the start of each term.
Gatoto plans educational events especially on matters of health, sanitation and education for the children. Targeted for these events are parents selected by the school committee.
Whenever GIDP wants to start a project, e.g. infrastructure, the community is called to a general assembly in the school. They are in informed of the proposal and asked to contribute their feedback and ideas. This is also an opportunity for us to reinforce the need and importance of education for our community. Through engaging the parents and local community with all new projects it ensures increased security for the school. Additionally, the school’s capital projects usually benefit from ready and affordable labour from the local community.
GIDP offers social and health support to parents and students of Gatoto Primary School who are in need. Right now there is a group of 40 parents who meet for group therapy sessions each week. They work with the social worker in areas such as group savings and encouragement. Those in need of drugs are referred to appropriate clinics and sometimes given finances to access the clinics. The group sessions have seen a change in the way affected parents look at HIV/Aids issues. The school also monitors the health situations of children and advises parents for testing where it is felt that the children may be affected by HIV.
Parents of the school contribute a participatory fee of €9 per child per year. This is a contribution to subsidise the World Food Programme sponsored feeding programme. The school conducts an AGM for all the parents of the school once each year while class based meetings are held each term to discuss educational issues, finance and general development of the school.
Access: getting children into school and keeping them there.
To run education and coaching/remedial classes, it costs Gatoto
- €4 - to provide a child with educational materials for one year (copybooks, pencils, a maths set)
- €4.50 - to buy one science kit for one class.
To fund the cost of teachers
- €1,200 - will pay the annual salary of a teacher.
To provide extra tuition for senior students
- €1,200 - will fund the cost of running a 3-week summer course for approximately 650 students (paying for operational costs, teachers' salaries and educational materials)
Quality: giving children a quality, holistic education.
To implement health and food programs, it costs
- €2 - to provide a child with regular medical check-ups for one year, and
- €20 - to provide a child with a daily school meal for one year.
To appropriately train teachers and maintain a broad curriculum, it costs:-
- €10 - to give a child regular music lessons for one year (as part of the school choir)
- €60 - to provide a teacher with one course of professional development training.
- €160 - to run a workshop on HIV/AIDS with 100 children, and
- €290 - to buy sports equipment for ball games for 50 children.
-€15- to buy a shirt and short plus pullover (uniform) for a boy to last 2 years.
- €15 to buy full dress and pullover (uniform) for a girl to last 2 years.