Young and energetic IAS officer conceptualised tool to monitor Teacher’s Daily Attendance in ZP School

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Young, energetic and Techno savvy IAS Officer Astik Kumar Pandey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zilla Parishad, Jalgaon developed a new concept namely STORM. It’s an innovative idea of Teacher’s Daily Attendance monitoring system Conceptualised and implemented in Jalgaon districts ZP schools in Maharashtra.

Astik, himself has been a student of Government Schools in UP. If his schools and teachers paved way for his higher education enabling him to crack UPSC Civil Services Exams, any student of the “Sarkari School” can hold teeming dreams close to his or her heart. He quotes great author of famous book “India Unbound” & “Difficulty of Being Good” Gurcharan Das who wrote in 2005 in one of his articles that “One in every four school teachers is absent from work and one out of those two is not teaching”.

“Where there is a will, there is a way” as famous author, Pauline Kael says, and he proved it right. Ten years later, this young IAS officer attempted to correct the course and system by amalgamating the easiest of tools of Saam, Dand and Bhed , notably steering clear of the incentive based way to lead a vast team. Resentment is bound to happen if you are trying to do something out of the box and same thing happened here too. The teachers’ lobbies across the district stood in opposition initially. However, their opposition had to turn into submission for a greater cause of education persuasive of the CEO’s relentless efforts to put the system in place and ensure compliance. “Today, the teacher leads the students…Tomorrow the students will lead the world”, says Astik. And he is right, in conversation with Senior Journalist Sitaram Mewati

What is storm?

System for Teacher’s Online Reporting & Monitoring (STORM) is an innovative idea of Teacher’s Daily Attendance monitoring system in district level schools run by Zilla Parishad (ZP). This is basically an “Android Phone- WhatsApp system” for monitoring attendance of Zilla Parishad School. It basically deals with the problem of Teachers absenteeism, late coming to school and Students absenteeism. When we imagine a classroom, we immediately imagine a strict looking Teacher taking the proverbial Roll Call by calling out names and neatly dressed up children enthusiastically answering,” Yes, teacher!” But when attendance, or rather the absence of the teachers itself is a grievous issue, what is to be done? How is timely attendance of the teachers ensured? Here comes the idea of introducing STORM. It will later on converted into “android application named as ezeeSTORM system” available on Playstore.

What made you to introduce this idea?

It is necessary to attend schools not only by students but teachers too. Practically it is very difficult for officials of Z P to keep a tab on teachers and to visit schools on daily basis. To make full proof arrangements, I felt it is necessary to introduce develop idea of storm making use of advanced technology (Digital India). In order to enhance quality and standards of education in Government schools, various kinds of efforts are taking place at Central and State government’s level. Government of Maharashtra has issued a vast and progressive Government Circular named “Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra”.To implement such efforts in effective manner STORM implemented.

Who inaugurated STORM? How many schools and teachers are covered under it?

The STORM was inaugurated by Eknath Davale, Divisional Commissioner Nashik on July 2nd, 2015 as a part of “Prime Minister’s DIGITAL INDIA Programme” , in Jalgaon district. ZP Jalgaon has 1848 schools, 2,03,444 students and 7459 teachers. STORM will monitor attendance of teachers and students on regular basis.

How STORM works?

STORM provides daily attendance of more than two lakh students, seven thousand teachers of any particular designated school on daily basis. It monitor physical presence of teachers including their time of arrival, late or on time and leave and unauthorised absence. It shows data of Mid-Day-Meal (MDM) provided to students and has helped a lot to bring transparency. This system has created positive image about Government schools and Education system. Through STORM, Government’s Resolution and important instructions and notices can be delivered to grass root school level in a fraction of second. Teachers and other staff can also give feedback to district level at any time. This provides effective and fastest communication.

What was the situation before implementation of STORM ?

Before implementation of STORM, a worrisome amount of teachers could be seen delving into absenteeism. Professional ethics such as coming to the Schools at beginning of School sessions was largely eroded. It simplistically ensured basic discipline among educators i.e. the teachers. Domino effect has obviously been better school attendance and timely announcements of school sessions.

How much fund from government treasury used for STORM?

Without spending a single penny from Government Treasury, ZP Jalgaon has implemented such a massive and effective system in very short span of time. Indeed a small amount of data expenditure is required while uploading information in app. for which some contingency fund from SSA is allowed at SMC level.

What was the response from parents and Government on STORM?

STORM is highly regarded and well appreciated by the by parents in entire district. Principal Secretary – Education department, Maharashtra has also appreciated this system. Besides, even Members of Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly appreciated STORM during discussion of LAQ in Vidhansabha during last winter session in Nagpur. This way an Innovative and simple Idea of STORM has delivered services to society in most efficient, eco friendly, easy and transparent way. The administration did not have to spend funds, time or energy out of turn.

Who all are included in WhatsApp group?

WhatsApp group include Head Masters, Kendra pramukhs (KP), extension officers and Block education officer. All Block Education officers along with Education Officer were included in WhatsApp group of “Information Technology Cell under Chief Executive Officer”. There are three stage formed for effective implementation.

First Stage: All Head Masters used to take photo of teachers / Muster roll while signing. Immediately Head Master would send all photos along with GPS location in WhatsApp group of concerned Kendra Pramukh. Along with photos, head master also sends attendance of teachers and students in school.

Second Stage: In this stage, from the time of photo Kendra pramukh decides how many teachers are on time, how many teachers are late. How many teachers are absent? Kendra Pramukh does summarisation of all schools under him / her and sends data of attendance of teachers & students in WhatsApp group of concerned Extesion Officer.

Third Stage: In this stage, Extesion Officer verifies received data randomly and sends summary of whole data of concerned Block Education Officer. Then concerned Block Education Officer sends block’s total data to “Information Technology Cell under CEO formed on number 94222 75974. Information received in above group generates district’s total daily report.

5 Comments

  1. SHARAD GOKHALE said:

    Kudos to Astik. This was needed. With such initiatives, the day is not far when the education system in India will match with those in the developed countries. But still a long way to go. Also need something to be done, if possible, about some or all ZP education officers who visit schools for inspection taking bribes from teachers for sending good reports.

  2. Suresh Joshi said:

    This is very innovative approach.Shri Pande deserves all commendation.What was the %absentism on 1/7/2015 the day on which programme commenced and on say 1/2/16or there about.this will be useful. Gradually this be extended to every body.Congrats once again Astik.

  3. SHRIDHAR BODHE said:

    Really remarkable work of Honble CEO Sir of ZP Jalgaon. Congratulations Sir.
    With regards
    SHRIDHAR BODHE
    DEPUTY COLLECTOR ( SRA ) THANE

  4. GGanesh said:

    Congratulations! Way back in 1969-71, I had, as CEO of Zilla Parishad Basti (UP) deployed officers to check physical attendance of teachers at school level and carried out surprise inspections throughout the district to check attendance of teachers and also whether they were teaching at all or just signing attendance register and working somewhere else! Exemplary punishments brought down truancy! Those were days before mobile phones/ computers etc. Happy to see this young officer doing a very smart job! Congratulations!

    • Astik said:

      GGANESH ji,
      Now we have handy tech to ensure such things but surprise inspections still have it own value. There isn’t any comparison. So, last week I send all Tahasildars n All other Executive Magistrates to check school. We checked 325 schools in that surprise inspections.

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