December 31, 2016 6:58:32 pm
Turning a new page in academic history of Jammu and Kashmir, Education Department on Saturday launched an ambitious internet-based School Management Information System (SMIS) to put in place a comprehensive mechanism for creating a single source of authentic and readily available database for policy making, evaluation and distribution of resources. Launched by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, SMIS, the largest e-governance and e-learning initiative of the state government, is an integrated technology framework that automates the entire end-to-end school management system, said Education Minister Naeem Akhtar. The largest e-governance initiative in the state with a huge base of stakeholders involving 33 per cent of the total employees of the state and around 26 lakh students, this comprehensive digital initiative includes both e-management of schools and e-management of students, he added.
Giving details, Naeem Akhtar said that SMIS is a repository for data collection, processing, analyzing and reporting of educational information including schools, students, teachers and staff of each and every school in the state. “It will provide administrators and teachers with the information required for informed planning, policy making and evaluation, besides empowering local communities to get involved in their children’s education,” he added.
The initiative provides readily available digital details of all the 28,000 schools in the state, their location, type of school, number of classrooms, toilets, library, science labs, boundary wall, number of teachers, number of students, teacher-student ratio etc. “SMIC will help in scientific rationalization of staff and space in schools, helping deployment of subject and qualification wife teachers,” minister said, adding that it will also help the department to develop need based career development programs for teachers, besides keeping track of the academic performance of the schools, students, enrolment and the dropout rate.
The absence of a reliable database has resulted in poor decision making, lack of transparency and accountability, uneven infrastructure and non-reliable teacher and student records compromising with the larger goal of quality education in the state which has a large number of schools across the length and breadth of the state, the minister added. “Often, even when data is available after adhoc surveys, it is hardly used to guide education policies,” he said.
Enumerating on the new e-system, Principal Secretary Education Shaleen Kabra said that SMIS is department’s endeavour to achieve the objective of every school having a subject expert as far as possible, besides one room for one class standard so as to achieve larger goal of quality education. It shall generate automated seniority and retirement lists, besides e-services for students, teachers and schools, he said, adding that every official in the department will be allotted a unique use ID with password so as to have access to information within one’s respective jurisdiction.
The internet based data application will be accessible through all departmental web sites at administrative department level, divisional, district and zonal level, Kabra said. “It shall inform the stakeholders on the state of affairs of the sector, its internal and external efficiency, its performance, shortcomings and needs,” he said, adding that the parents and teachers shall be empowered with the school performance information to actively engage in school improvement planning process.
In future, SMIS will also have features like transfer management system, Kabra said, adding that any transfer affected at any level in the School Education Department shall be visible to higher ups and the general public ensuring transparency in the transfer of employees and putting an end the menace of corruption. About deficiency of staff in schools, he said that vacancies for a particular year can be worked out in advance and shall be referred to recruiting agencies in time, he added.
Its other features include online leave management, e-Service Books and online General Provident Fund procession, Kabra said, adding that SMIS database is proposed to be supported by complete application of software and Education Department employees who have IT skills will be trained to run the system from school to the highest level, he added.
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