Parents to get SMS if students fail to swipe attendance cards | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Parents to get SMS if students fail to swipe attendance cards

More and more schools in the city are automating every day activities using technology to make a student’s life more accessible for the working parents. The latest addition is the automated attendance system, reports Serena Menon.

mumbai Updated: Oct 22, 2009 01:06 IST
Serena Menon

Shobhana Patil (47) is a doctor and a mother of two. Given her erratic work schedule, she wished to have more information about her children’s whereabouts. And technology has made her wish come true.

More and more schools in the city are automating every day activities using technology to make a student’s life more accessible for the working parents. The latest addition is the automated attendance system.

Instead of the manual attendance sheets, schools are now handing out identity smart cards to the students. The students have to swipe the cards at the school gate. If one does not swipe the card before the designated time, a short message service (SMS) will immediately be sent to the parent’s mobile phone, informing them about his or her absence.

“Working parents have all the reason to worry about their children’s safety in this city,” said Sudheshna Chatterjee, principal, Jamnabai Narsee School.

“During school hours, we are held responsible for the children. The automated attendance messages via SMS will give the parents some relief,” she added.

Nearly 50 city schools, including Jamnabai Narsee School in Vile Parle, St Xavier’s School at Fort and Saint Ignatius High School in Mahalaxmi, are undergoing this technological shift.

Another 1,800 schools across the country are also considering adopting this technology.

Parents have to pay a yearly fee ranging between Rs 30 and Rs 120 for the automated service depending on the school set up, while the school needs to invest nothing.

“The USP (unique selling point) of such automated services is that parents can keep track of their child’s life via the Internet and the mobile phone,” said Shantanu Rooj, director of Glodyne Technoserve, one of the companies that provide this facility.

“Principals asked us about the chances of proxies, for which we have settled at an agreement to keep a class monitor to oversee the students swiping in to rule out cases of proxy attendance,” said Satish Kadam, director of Barcode and Automation, which provides such technological solutions.

Parents, however, are not totally convinced.

“Students may, after swiping the cards, find ways to sneak out of the school,” said Patil.