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Digital Opportunity Channel, Sindh Today

Implementing e-governance in educational systems will Implementing e-governance in educational systems will enable effective monitoring of academic standards, says enable effective monitoring of academic standards, says N.N. Sachitanand N.N. Sachitanand, a technology writer. He cites the , a technology writer. He cites the example of M-Star education expert system which has example of M-Star education expert system which has overhauled the infrastructure in schools and colleges overhauled the infrastructure in schools and colleges across India, making the learning system more across India, making the learning system more accountable.

"If the Education Expert System gets linked to other national e- governance systems then the possibilities are endless"

Then again, considering the paucity of funds in our state-aided educational institutions, an e-governance system which is inexpensive to install, simple to use, easy to maintain and can be conveniently expanded will be much more acceptable.

Monitoring academic performance Monitoring academic performance

One such e-governance system for educational institutions — the M-Star Education Expert System — has been piloted in scores of schools in India. This system currently runs in a variety of schools and colleges in the country.

M-Star has been developed by MGRM NET after a deep study of educational systems. It is highly flexible in that it can apply to any educational system and yet be customised to a very high degree to fit in with all the required parameters and diverse needs of an institution.

It takes the life cycle approach and works all the way up the education chain — from kindergarten right up to the university level — for all kinds of curriculum and structures. The system bridges the gap between different stakeholders in a school, such as students, parents, teachers, principal and education administrators.

For administrators like school boards and education directorates, which have to keep tabs on the functioning of many schools, M-Star offers immense value to monitor academic performance of individual schools as well as impact of schemes like mid-day meal or Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Campaign).

The application runs on proprietary OmVcard or an Online Multi- domain Value Card, costing just a few hundred rupees. Every child and staff member are given the OmVcard which they can insert intoany computer where the application is loaded.

Incidentally, the card can be used to check the oft-quoted issue of teacher truancy. Teacher performance in a ‘single teacher’ school can be monitored by his supervisor remotely, not merely by looking at his or her attendance records, but by gauging the effectiveness of teaching as borne out by the academic performance of the pupils.

Ultimately, if the Education Expert System gets linked to other national e-governance systems, such as the national ID project headed by Nandan Nilekani, then the possibilities are endless.

It could analyse the reasons of dropping out from the system and the teachers become more accountable. The Right to Education could thus become a reality through technology.

Financial Times, New Delhi, Thursday, August 1, 2013

MD TAUSIF ALAM GURGAON ((excerpts from the artice)

“The demand of technologies per- taining to school-management sys- tems have increased in tier II and III cities which are yearning for world- class products and advanced technol- ogies,” said Surabhi Das Sharma, sr vice-president, MGRM. MGRM Net is the educational technology arm of MGRM that provides comprehensive products and services under the brand name ‘M-Star educational expert systems.’

DEMANDS BRING BIZ The education domain as a business has been largely ignored by most companies till recently. However, this technology transformation is a very recent phenomenon. The millenni- um city also shows a keen interest in acquiring such solutions in educa- tional institutes.

“It is only in the last decade, thanks to the Millennium Goals and funds infused by World Bank and various government schemes for education, that there is a spur of companies trying to map the educa- tional requirements. They are also rushing in to provide required agnostic solutions,” said Sharma.

SOLUTIONS AND EDUCATION The industry players believe that technology-related solutions will bring revolutions in education. These systems will help the educa- tion sector in different ways. “It brings process efficiencies and improvement in quality of service delivered; it will also release time for staff in educational institutions to do other productive work. It will work to bring improvement in learn- er engagement and learning out- comes. With the use of effective tech- nology, educational institutions can become ‘net knowledge creators’ rather than just knowledge dissemi- nators,” said George. Sharma believes that the introduction of technologies in the educa- tional systems will also enhance functional literacy, prevent dropouts and improve education system.

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