Software provided to enter information in offline mode, says CEO

Many private schools in Coimbatore have complained that they are unable to upload their students’ and teachers’ information into a database as mandated by the Department of School Education, due to glitches in the Department servers.

The schools said that even as the problems remain unsolved, the Department was refusing to extend the deadline of November 13 for entering the data onto the Education Management Information System (EMIS).

Launched last academic year, the EMIS was a comprehensive database which will eventually contain teachers’, schools’ and students’ profiles of all private and Government schools in Tamil Nadu. Smart cards containing data ranging from family details to blood group would be issued to all students.

The Correspondent of a private school in Perur block said that they were given a username and password to enter the data on the website — However, the site remained inaccessible for most part of the day.

“Even during a workshop on EMIS, the technician instructed the teachers to log into the website in 10 computers simultaneously so that it will log in successfully in at least one. My school, which is a small one, has just four computers. So, how do I do it?” the Correspondent wondered. The Headmistress of another school in the city said that even when the website became accessible, they were able to upload only between 10 and 30 students’ data per day. The school had more than 250 students, the HM said, adding that they cannot possibly complete the process before the November 13 deadline.

Many heads of private schools were reluctant to openly criticise the Department of School Education, which has to renew their recognition every three years. The Right To Education Act prohibits private schools from functioning without recognition.

When contacted, Chief Educational Officer A. Gnanagowri told The Hindu that the Department was aware of the glitches and private schools had been given additional software to enter the data in an ‘off-line’ mode. Further, a coordinator had been appointed exclusively for this purpose with whom the schools could get in touch with. The Department was giving a lot of focus to the EMIS project, she added

However, Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Welfare Association General secretary G. Krishnaraj claimed that only a few schools were aware of these options. There was no clarity on the rules and many instructions were not being widely circulated. He urged the Department to extend the deadline and direct its officials to adopt a friendly approach towards the schools.

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