Amid regular complaints of large-scale irregularities in tribal schools and hostels, the SC/ST Development department has found a novel way to plug the loopholes. SMS-based monitoring application would now keep a track of all the day-to-day activities.
This has been implemented this week in all the tribal schools and hostels to obtain details about stipend utilisation, food provided to the students, hostel management, security of the students and attendance of hostel employees and students.
To begin with, officials of the institutions would send day-wise data on consumption status of food being served to the students through SMS to a registered mobile number of the department. Through this, the department would be able to monitor the quantity of `2-per-kg rice consumed every month by the school students and boarders. Several times in the past, there have been allegations of rice meant for tribal schools finding its way to black market.
In remote areas having connectivity issues, school and hostel authorities have been asked to send SMS once in a week. The information will be uploaded to the department’s web portal and simultaneously verified by field officials on a weekly basis.
The department has 506 sevashrams, five residential sevashrams, 766 ashram schools with a combined enrollment of 2,46,472 students. This apart, there are 299 high schools with a strength of 1,27,510 tribal students, eight higher secondary schools with 1655, 13 Eklavya model schools with 5,214 and 19 education complexes for PTG girls with 4,750 students. The SC/ST Development Department runs a total of 2982 hostels with 3,78,915 boarders.
Secretary of the department, Santosh Sarangi, said the step has been aimed at streamlining various schemes being implemented at the educational institutions meant for tribal students.