e-cards to check dropout rate proposed

Radio Frequency Identification system automatically registers childs attendance

Not satisfied with the outcome of its annual expenditure of Rs three crore to bring dropouts back to schools, the Palike has decided to look at innovative solutions for fixing the problem of poor attendance and dropout trend in schools.

Palike is working to install Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) system where attendance would be automatically registered the moment the child is inside the school premises.

Recently, a private firm dealing with the RFI gave a demonstration about the electronic attendance mechanism for students of the Palike-run schools, which impressed the education standing committee members and Palike's education officers.

"The RFI will require students of the schools carrying an electronic card to school everyday. The moment they enter the premises, a sensor at the entrance will automatically scan the card and register their presence in the school," said B V Ganesh, chairperson of the Palike standing committee on education.

The RFI equipment will be connected with the electronic devices in the BBMP head office through internet to show the daily attendance of each of the Palike-run schools.

Usually, the Palike starts the exercise to find dropouts at the beginning or the end of the academic year, but with this mechanism Palike can check how many children are showing reluctance to attend classes regularly.

"The RFI system will help us analyse how many children are attending classes. Presently, no one in the school or in the education department of the Palike monitors attendance in classes, but with the help of RFI, we can check bunking of classes by students," said Ganesh.

However, the Palike is not happy with the existing RFI equipment, as it merely monitors attendance, but is not interactive.

"We have asked the firm to incorporate video conferencing facility and they have agreed for it. We want video conferencing to interact with the school authorities," said Ganesh.
He said the entire cost of the project, Rs two crore, was less than Rs three crore spent every year on checking dropout rate.

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