SMS to curb bunking

Beep! Your child was absent from school today.

That could be a text message from the De Nobili Group of Schools that has hit upon the idea to help worried parents keep track of their children's attendance.

In Dhanbad, the service was being run on an experimental basis in two De Nobili cradles with great success. It is now likely to be extended to all eight schools of the group within the next week.

Speaking to news men last week, director of De Nobili Group of Schools Father George Fernandes said demonstration sessions for the SMS service have been running at Sijua and Bhuli.

"The response to the service has been overwhelming. So we have decided to introduce it in all the eight cradles," he added.

Ranchi's St Xavier's School had introduced a similar service in July last year. It used SMS alerts to inform parents of the time their wards came and left the school premises.

St Xavier's uses a special bio-metric software ' School Attendance Management System or SAMS ' installed by a Mumbai-based firm for sending out the alerts.

Father Fernandes said the schools would have two dedicated technicians who would compile a list of absentees after the morning attendance everyday. "They will then use a group SMS service to send alerts to parents whose wards skipped classes," he said.

The service would also be used to update parents about school events and send out alerts on days the school is closed due to unforeseen circumstances.

"In short, the SMS service will keep a track of the attendance of students and make sure that they attend classes regularly," Fernandes, who will take over as the dean of administration of XLRI- Jamshedpur from April 1, said.

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