Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday formed hundreds of Village Education Committees to encourage synergetic government-community partnership to achieve the objective of universalisation of elementary education.

"The Village Education Committee (VEC) Day was observed throughout Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday to formally constitute Village Education Committees for the schools under Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA)," an official spokesman said.

"The objective of constituting VECs is to encourage synergetic government-community partnership to achieve the objective of universalisation of elementary education," Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said.

The Minister said the constitution of VECs is aimed at giving community ownership to educational institutions as it functions as a part of the social system.

"VECs play significant role in micro-planning, they prepare the school development plan including requirement of buildings, toilet and drinking water facilities," he said.

Akhtar said the VECs play major role in bringing positive attitudinal change in people towards education and in mobilizing the community and motivating parents/guardians to send their children to schools, especially girls and children from disadvantaged groups.

"They will be also responsible for school construction and maintenance, purchase of materials, school mapping and micro-planning exercise, preparation of Village Education Plan and monitoring the school management as well as teacher performance," he added.

He said the VECS would be conducting periodic meetings to ensure cooperation of the community in smooth functioning of the local educational institutes, assist the Headmaster in transparent and effective utilization of grants released to schools and monitor enrolment of all school-age children.

They will also ensure cent per cent completion of elementary education of all children, monitor academic performance of children, attendance and quality of education, involvement in appointment of Education Volunteers (EVs) for EGS and Alternative and Innovative Education centres as per guidelines and directions of District Education Committee, the minister said.

Each VEC has local Panchayat representative, Headmaster of the school, representative of local Self Help Group, local educationists, local parents and other eminent locals as its members, said the spokesperson.