Students of DAV Public School swipe their cards on the attendance monitoring system at Bistupur on Tuesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
“Congrats!!! DAV Bistupur SMS alert system activated….” When this message flashed on Dhirendra Pandey’s cellphone on Monday morning, he heaved a sigh of relief. It meant that henceforth he would know if his son Ritwik, a Class VIII student, had reached school or not.
Pandey is among the many parents who are happy about the Jamshedpur cradle putting in place an attendance monitoring system (AMS), which would keep them informed about their children’s whereabouts.
On Monday, the students of DAV Bistupur inaugurated the new system by punching their chip-enabled identity cards on newly installed readers. From nursery to Class XII, all students will have to follow the practice while entering and leaving school.
The readers are linked to a server and if a student is absent or late, a message will be automatically sent to parents’ mobile phones within 20 minutes. When students are late, the entry time, which will be stored in the server, will also be messaged to the parents. This apart, the school will also send SMS alerts about important notices.
“Earlier, I used to gets reports about my son at parent-teacher meetings or checked the remarks in the school diary. Often I couldn’t do that given my busy schedule. Now, I can question my son if he does not go to school, thanks to the AMS,” said Pandey, a senior tax assistant with the income tax department.
“I think the students will become more disciplined and responsible as they know that their parents will come to know if they play truant,” he added.
The system has been installed by a Mumbai-based firm, xiTix. To start with, 33 card readers have been set up on the campus, which will be increased to 45. The chip-enabled identity cards contain the name, class, section, blood group, date of birth, admission number and phone number of the students along with their photographs.
The school is charging Rs 15 per month from students to maintain the system.
“Punching the card twice a day is mandatory. Text messages will be sent to the parents only if a child is absent or does not reach school on time. This will bring in a sense of discipline among the students,” said Pragya Singh, principal of DAV Public School, Bistupur.
However, the school will continue to maintain students’ attendance-manually for a month.
St Xavier’s School, Ranchi, has already launched a similar SMS alert system, which informs parents when students reach and leave the campus. Other DAV Public Schools will also follow suit soon.