Text-your-leave: All Dists to Toe Nuapada’s Leave System - The New Indian Express

Text-your-leave: All Dists to Toe Nuapada’s Leave System

Published: 21st January 2014 11:58 AM

Last Updated: 21st January 2014 11:59 AM

Nuapada district’s innovative attempt to streamline leave management of school teachers through a short messaging service (SMS) system has impressed the School and Mass Education Department which has asked all districts to replicate it.

Commissioner-cum-Secretary Usha Padhee on Monday issued a circular to all the Collectors asking them to study the system and introduce it from February, with modifications or without it.

The SMS-based leave management system, introduced in Nuapada since August last year, has not only reined in the habitual absentees but also improved the overall attendance of teachers in the schools.

Using an uncomplicated technique, Nuapada Collector Jaya Kumar V introduced an SMS-based application process using a common SIM number for unplanned leave wherein the teacher was compelled to stay off work under pressing conditions. All that a teacher had to do was to send an SMS using a simple format before 9 am of the day he or she was seeking leave for. The teacher also had the option to inform the headmaster-in-charge about the leave either by SMS or oral communication.

The SIM number which was kept at the disposal of the District Sarva Siksha Abhiyan office captured the leave applications and mailed the same to the Block Resource Centre Coordinator by 10.30 am the same day. The Block Education Officer was also kept in loop. The teachers were given a simple format to follow - name, school name, block and dates of leave.

In case of planned leave, the regular procedure of maintaining a register was followed. The headmaster and the applicant teacher had to sign simultaneously. Similarly, in cases where unplanned leave was availed through SMS, the teacher had to submit a written application on rejoining duty.

To maintain and stabilise the system, monitoring at block and cluster level was done by both BRCCs and Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators. Squads were also formed to check the leave registers and SMS-based leave system adopted by schools and they verified if the protocols were maintained.

“Initially, there was some hesitation but teachers started following the system. This led to an improvement in teachers’ attendance in the schools,” said Collector Jaya Kumar. When the system fell into place, the district administration did not insist on the SMS system because the regular application was back on track.

However, the improvement did not come without crackdown. “We checked the illegal absentee teachers and acted against them. At least 15 of them were placed under suspension and eight were dismissed too,” he added.

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