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Mumbai colleges embrace technology to bring in transparency

The project seems to be only getting bigger with more colleges going digital

mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2017 23:30 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Many colleges have turned their classrooms into technologically equipped forums for better student-teacher interaction and have shifted the admissions process online.
Many colleges have turned their classrooms into technologically equipped forums for better student-teacher interaction and have shifted the admissions process online. (Representational photo/HT)

Aligning themselves with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision, educational institutes in Mumbai are going digital in a slow but steady manner.

Many colleges have turned their classrooms into technologically equipped forums for better student-teacher interaction and have shifted the admissions process online. This they said was done to bring in transparency. The project seems to be only getting bigger with more colleges embracing digitisation.

The Rizvi Education Society in Bandra, which runs schools, degree colleges and institutes for professional studies, recently implemented the first phase of digital transformation of the entire education and administration system across its institutes. While the management has already installed technology-driven teaching interface in all their classrooms, biometric entry for students and launched mobile apps for better teacher-parent interaction, they also plan to introduce online assessment of all examinations.

“Paperless admissions has not only reduced the work for our staff, but also made the process transparent. Even parents are at peace because they now get daily updates about their child’s attendance without visiting the college,” said Kalim Khan, director, Rizvi Institute of Management Studies and Research.

He added that as part of their second phase of digital revolution, the institute plans to start online examination assessment and make study material available online for school and students alike.

Similarly, a few colleges are upgrading their admission process so that students do not waste time in queues to pay fees. Matunga’s RA Podar College ensured that not a single cash transaction took place this year.

“We tied up with a national bank and ensured that fees were paid online. This helps us to maintain records without human error,” said princiapl Sobhana Vasudevan. She added that this helps verification of admissions and cancellations easier.

Mithibai College in Vile Parle recently digitised all its records and documents available since its inception in 1961. “Any student from any of the previous batches can now easily verify his/her records and mark-sheets with the college because everything is now available online,” said principal Rajpal Hande.

He added that along with biometric attendance system, the institute has also introduced the Blackboard Technology using which teachers regularly upload study material online and can be easily accessed by all students.

While most colleges are in favour of going digital, a few are worried about students and teachers warming up to the use of technology available at hand.

“We made online payment of fees mandatory, only to realise that several students are first generation learners and clueless about the digital payment methods. We tried setting up help desks, but eventually went back to the old format of admission to avoid stressing out students during the admission season,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College, Bandra.

She added that implementation of digital technology in colleges is a huge investment, which can only be possible if the management is ready to support the institute financially.