Big brother software to track truant students realtime - The New Indian Express

Big brother software to track truant students realtime

Published: 05th December 2012 12:03 PM

Last Updated: 05th December 2012 12:03 PM

Next time you bunk classes to watch a romantic thriller in a theatre or hang around in a mall along with your lover or friend, make sure your school or college has not installed the ‘Smart School Diary’ software on campus. Else you may bump into your parents when you come out of the theatre.

The software, developed by a Thrissur-based firm, with the support of the Union Department of Science and Technology, replaces school/college diaries with a mobile application and alerts parents of each and every development in the classroom via SMS.

“In an age of virtual teachers and classrooms and with schools going high-tech by tagging students with radio frequency chips to monitor their movement on campuses, this software will help the authorities to keep truant students under a tight leash,” said Jayan, director of Aitrich Technologies, the firm which developed the software.

Though mobile application services are a part of the electronic age, most people do not make use of these applications in their day-to-day life, even if they own top-end mobiles. “The Smart School Diary provides a functionally rich solution that enables parents and teachers to communicate and to structure homework, tests, assignments, special instructions and the daily subject portions. It will also inform parents about absenteeism, scheduled homework and other school activities on a daily basis,” said Jayan.

“The online software has also provision to store a database of students’ academic performance and other activities. It will enable the parents, teachers and school authorities to assess and if the need arises put extra effort on particular subjects or extracurricular activities,” said Asha Biju, principal, MES Senior Secondary School, Pattambi, which has installed the software.

For installing the software, the school/college authorities require no additional infrastructure cost and it will reduce the manpower for writing school diaries to some extent.

Once parents register their mobile numbers with the service, they will receive voice-over messages followed by SMS, even if they travel or work abroad, said K S B A Thangal, MES School secretary. On one hand it may seem like Big Brother-style monitoring, but on the other hand parents can keep track and thus contribute to their children’s education, at a cost lesser than that of a dialler tone in their mobile phone (Parents have to pay a small service charge to avail the service).

As for the students, the art of bunking classes by playing hide and seek with class monitors and snooping teachers by risking low attendance will come to a naught once the software is installed.

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