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Teacher develops digital platform to reduce burden of non-academic tasks

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AT A time when discussions over the increasing burden of non-academic and administrative tasks on teachers of Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools in Maharashtra have led to major concerns, Sandeep Gund, a ZP teacher, has a digital solution to offer.

He has developed a School Management System for government-run schools, a technology-based platform which promises considerable relief with a paperless mode of data collection.

This school management system is aimed at simplifying a school’s administrative process. The multi-purpose approach of this system will help in automating daily operations on a single platform and provide insightful reports when required. With more than 100 modules in its customised features, the system is specially made for public schools in Maharashtra.

“There are nearly 150 registers in any ZP school to be maintained by a teacher, who also looks at administrative tasks. The types of registers vary from general registration having a student’s enrolment data, records of transfer or leaving certificates issued by the school, records of mid-day meal, accounts of schools providing details of expenses under different government grants, details of scholarships, Aadhaar cards of students, dead-stock register to maintain a log of items in school and the list goes on. And time-to-time, the government asks ZP schools to submit data in various formats,” said Gund, who along with some other techno-savvy teachers, runs DEEP (Digital Education Empowerment Programme) Foundation, which aims at enhancing public sector education through the intervention of technology and digital platforms.

“This system will put an end to the repetition of works as once the data is filled, different reports can be generated to submit it to the government. For example, if the government wants to know details of Aadhaar of students, along with caste-wise data, a teacher will just have to generate this report from the system instead of going through four different registers to prepare a new document,” added Gund.

The almost ready project will begin a pilot run in two districts of Maharashtra – Kolhapur and Ahmednagar – after Diwali.

According to Gund, the focus is to train principals and teachers in ZP schools to familiarise them with the technology. To ensure this, the system will be offline initially, aimed at helping teachers to keep the entire digital record of their school. The pilot run is going to look for loopholes to fine-tune the system before a report is presented to the state government with a proposal to implement it across the state, he said.

Kailas Pagare, State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, who has already seen a presentation of the system, said, “While a state-wide implementation may help, we are evaluating funding possibilities for the same. But the system yet requires some work to become efficient.”

In the past few days, the burden of non-academic tasks on ZP school teachers in Maharashtra has come to the fore. Teachers complain that this is not allowing them to focus on their academic duties. They have raised concerns that it is more damaging post-pandemic as students have already suffered a significant learning loss.

In an address on Teachers’ Day earlier this month, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde ensured that the government will work toward minimising this burden.

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