To keep a check on the ‘dummy’ schools in the city and the number of students bunking schools, the UT education department is all set to install the ‘Attendance tracking system’ for all the schools — both government and private. The department will start working on it from next week.
From now, each and every school admission at the senior secondary level will not only be tracked by the school but by the education department as well, where the students’ attendance will be monitored. Also, all the coaching centres across the city will be asked to submit a record of the number of students studying with them, in a particular batch.
Director, Public Instructions (Schools), Kamlesh Kumar said the work of installing the system in each schools would begin on June 8. “The purpose is to keep a close tab on the attendance in the dummy schools, where students bunk their classes to attend their coaching classes.”
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Under the system, there will be a single web-based portal like that of School Management Information System, which will be linked to the official website of the UT Education department. All city schools will have to upload the attendance of their students of classes XI and XII on this portal such that the Director Public Instructions (Schools) can easily track the attendance of any school and can also analyse the number of students meeting the 75 percent attendance criteria or not.
Anujit Kaur, principal of government model senior secondary school, Sector 16, said, “Secondary-level education is crucial and it is for the parents and the education department to keep a strict check on the students attending the schools. This attendance tracking system if gets installed will enable the education department to see that how many students are not attending schools, plus it could keep a check on dummy schools as well.”
However, Kavita Das, principal of St John’s School, Sector 26, said, “It has both plus and minus points. The attendance tracking system is one way of ensuring the required attendance in all the schools, especially the dummy schools and this system may bring transparency but sharing the attendance records is completely a matter of internal management of the school. I am not sure, how will it work.”
DPI Kumar said now the schools would have to share their attendance details as per DC orders to ensure child safety.
HS Mamik, Chariman of Vivek High School, Sector 38, and president of the Independent Schools Association, said, “It is a very difficult task to keep a track of thousands of students studying in classes XI and XII. If the department wants to keep a check on the dummy schools, they should identify them and see their admission procedures. Otherwise, in this attendance tracking system, how will they ensure that the dummy schools will upload the correct information on the portal?”
Three years ago, UT Education department had initiated a pilot project of making students’ attendance online, in five government schools — Government Model senior secondary school, Sector 16, GMSSS-35, GMSSS-33, government senior secondary school, Maloya and Government high school, Sector 52.
The department had handed over this work to the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) and it had also installed the software in the respective schools and the department just had to access the online data of the schools. The software is still installed but the system is not functional since then.