Online system to track attendance of students, teachers in schools

The Directorate of Primary Education will introduce an online software system to track attendance of students and teachers in schools, despite the fact that availability of computers and internet connection is still a distant dream for many schools, especially those from rural areas.

Director of Primary education Mahaveer Mane announced the introduction of online software system recently in around 2,900 schools in the state. A drive conducted by the state in October 2011 revealed that these schools have more than 50 per cent bogus students on their record to draw government grants. As per the hi-tech initiative, each primary school will be given dedicated account with user-id and password to feed in details of attendance of students and teachers.

On the contrary, only few primary schools have computers and internet access. "Out of more than 1 lakh primary schools in the state, only 5 per cent have computers and internet connectivity. Introduction of this system is too ambitious considering the ground realities. Principals of these schools have no option but to rely on the respective local-self governing bodies for these facilities to send attendance details on a daily basis to the Directorate of Primary Education," a senior education department official told Newsline.

Ironically, Directorate of Primary Education statistics reveals that only 4,719 primary and higher primary schools out of 1,03,629 in Maharashtra have only the essential infrastructure such as drinking water, playground and school-compound among other facilities. Most schools still do not have the basic infrastructure leave along computers and internet access.

When contacted, Mane failed to provide the number of schools that have the required facilities to implement the online software system. The Directorate of Primary Education has still not shared the investment cost and operational and maintenance expenditure for the project.

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