KOCHI: The much-hyped Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Project, aimed at tracking the movement of students to and from the Government Girls HSS, has failed to see the light of day. Though the system was introduced at the school in 2017, after a grand inauguration, there has been no follow up.
"The project was initially mooted in 2014 when the RFID system was slowly catching up in private schools. The previous government had declared that the school would be one of the firsts in Kerala to get the system. Once successful, the model would be replicated in other schools.
The Kochi Corporation was entrusted with the execution of the project here," said former education standing committee chairperson R Thyagararajan. He said the former Corporation Council had passed the project and had sent it to the LSGD Department for further approval. "However, by then, the new council had taken over and the new council failed to follow up on the project," he said.
The government had appointed PR 9 Communications, a private agency equipped with the technical know-how, to implement the project. "We held talks with both the previous and present education committee chairpersons regarding the project. Since we did not receive any followup from the Corporation's side, we did not proceed with it," said Sajeesh Gopalan, founder director of PR 9 Communications. However, the present education standing committee chairperson Poornima Narayanan, denied any knowledge of the RFID system project.
Following demands from the school authorities, a similar project, where the RFID would be introduced, was inaugurated at the school premises last year by Hibi Eden MLA. Though a major function was held at the school as part of the project inauguration, nothing has materialised so far. "A private agency was brought in for the inauguration. They had also installed a machine inside the school and even demonstrated its implementation. However, lack of clarity put it on hold," said school PTA president Shibu. Government Girls HSS Principal said parents have expressed concern about the project.
"Though they were positive initially, when we started collecting the data of students, they started asking about the repercussions of introducing such a project. They were worried it would affect the health of the girls if they had to pass through the RFID-introduced gate on a daily basis. We hope to address their fears soon," she said. Hibi Eden MLA said the lack of willpower to implement projects in government schools is why many important schemes failed to take off.