Inching towards digitization in the education system, the Government of India will be launching a unified digital system that will track performance parameters of nearly 8.7 million school teachers and 250 million students. The unified platform will also address the issue of absenteeism.
After the roll-out of the system, all the teachers will be equipped with smart phones or tablets to maintain daily record of attendance, performance of students and progress of mid-day meal scheme. To begin with, the Government will launch the project in three states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Even Andhra Pradesh is planning to commence the project later this year.
Through this scheme, every Government and Government aided-schools would be provided with a GSM-enabled tablet or a smart phone loaded with an app. Teachers, by using their bio-metric and Aadhaar details, will mark their attendance on the device, similar to what the Central Government employees are presently doing in Delhi. In the rural areas where Internet connectivity is an issue, the data will be stored offline and uploaded on the state servers once connected to the Internet.
The Government has also asked teachers to capture 14 sets of data for effective school management under the new system, six of which are specifically related to students — enrolment, progression, attendance, continuous and comprehensive evaluation, and incentives and supplementary teaching management.
Similarly, the system will record four data sets for teachers, including their information, attendance, leave and salary disbursement whereas the schools will be asked to provide information related to school, mid-day meal scheme, facilities and GIS module on the system. Currently, all the information is stored and maintained in registers and physically sent to the State Education Department for verification. This will eliminated the re-reporting of data.
The Government, which is buoyed with success of a pilot project in Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh, believes that the unified digital system will reduce the cost of data collection and help in timely interventions.
After the pilot project, Chhattisgarh Online School Monitoring System (COSMOS), teacher attendance reportedly improved from 52 per cent to 86 per cent in those schools where it was less than 70 per cent. The pilot covered 2,220 schools and 7,000 teachers in six blocks of Balrampur between May 2015 and May 2016. The Chhattisgarh Government claimed to have saved Rs 33 lakh using the project.