Glitches galore in implementation

Infrastructure for e-governance is in place in many Education departments, but there are glitches in implementation. Result: These departments are still largely inaccessible to the public. Despite availability of technology, the communication gap between the officials and stakeholders is yet to be bridged.

Right to Education (RTE) activist Nagasimha G Rao finds that the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has a long way to go in responding to people’s grievances. “It is not just about putting ‘Sakaala’ in place. That is not the end. First, a people-friendly system where officials respond to people’s grievances has to be set up. When there is a system where officials are in tune with the problems on the ground, Sakaala will automatically be successful,” reasons Rao.

He cites the example of the numerous confusions in circulars issued on RTE. Also, the department has not responded to any of the parents’ complaints. On corporal punishment for instance, a few parents were asked to report to the police station and not to the department. If people cannot trust the department, how will they open up to the police? asks Rao. “We have sent nearly 28 letters to the department for several queries about implementation of RTE. Till today, we do not know whether the department has taken any action against schools flouting the norms or the progress in specific complaints. 

Even website updating is not a priority for the Department of Pre-University Education. The last update on movement of files stops in September 2012. Beyond the results and exam related information, the site is hardly in sync with the present. A former department official notes that e-governance stems from tremendous dedication on the officials’ part. “Sometimes there is a lot of work in the day. The commitment has to come within the officials to personally monitor if the information is updated on a daily basis.”

Bangalore University too, has recently announced its intention to introduce Sakaala very soon. The varsity Vice-Chancellor, Prof Thimme Gowda, is convinced that the introduction of Sakaala would make the administration more transparent and student-friendly.

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