Envisaging the ePunjabSchool project is to monitor the delivery of quality of education at school level as well as administering the internal functions of schools. This covers all government schools about 18,500. Currently the project has been opened to 6,250 middle, high and senior secondary schools having around 70,000 teachers and 14 lakh students. In future, the department is planning to roll out this project to all primary schools coming under the MIS system.
The Department of School & Mass Education Punjab is arguably one of the most technically equipped systems currently functioning in the boundary of India. The way the Department has provided computer and connectivity to the schools particularly the Middle, Secondary & Higher Secondary sects, it only becomes a formality for the department to introduce a Software application that enables them to use the facility in updating day-to-day information, ultimately that collates to a MIS at the Central Decision Making level to get instant access to information that can prove vital and work as a Decision Support System (DSS).
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a historic stride towards achieving the long cherished goal of Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) through a time bound integrated approach, in partnership with State. SSA, which promises to change the face of the elementary education sector of the country, aims to provide useful and quality elementary education to all children in the 6 -14 age group by 2010. The SSA is an effort to recognise the need for improving the performance of the school system and to provide community owned quality elementary education in mission mode. It also envisions to bridge gender and social gaps. Following up this prescience, Government of India launched its most ambitious planning of making the act of “Education for All” thus by making compulsory, the minimum elementary education for every child between the age of 0-14 years. To realise this mandate every state has empowered its school education system by financially being governed by Sarva Sikhya Abhiyaan (SSA). The SSA again added to its wing as a separate IT/ICT division to further add Computer education in schools alongside regular mainstream education.
Scope of replication
The key features that make this system worth replication in other states are:
1. Meeting RTE guidelines is same for all states.
2. Proper Inventory Management for MDM.
3. Maintaining proper MIS of funds received and funds utilised.
ePunjabSchool is a one-of-its-kind of IT/ICT intervention that allows the Decision Making Authority to have a bird’s eyeview on the end- to-end functioning of school education system in the state, thus connecting the three verticals of Education: School, Teacher, and Students. The system is equipped with GIS coordinates of school position that allows decision to be taken exactly on the guidelines of SSA Act in positioning of new schools or even upgrading of schools
Scalability of the project
1. Any number of schools can be added
2. Dynamic workflow makes module plug and play.
3. Infrastructure available (high end servers, bandwidth, etc.) at the data centre enables the system ready to be scaled up.
4. Investment at the client end is minimum where one PC with Internet connectivity can be used for using the application. Also user-friendly modules make the training programme simple to implement.
The system helps the state and district officials by monitoring student management like child tracking, student enrollment, academics and inspection, staff management like transfer, promotion and increment, infrastructure management and deficiencies. The GIS component links the MIS information with the mapped data where spatial queries, distance calculations and other GIS utility are possible.
Every change and enhancement in the application is making the edges even sharper. Lastly, we do commend the involvement of all stake holders irrespective of their position and responsibility.