A new system to monitor the attendance of government school teachers is being introduced in Madurai district soon.

The teachers would have to send an SMS (Short Messaging Service) to a designated number to be given to them by the School Education Department officials here. Headmasters of the respective schools would forward the attendance particulars to the authorities concerned on all working days. This SMS attendance proposal was mooted by the new Chief Educational Officer of Madurai district, C.Amudhavalli, who assumed charge on Thursday. Talking to “The Hindu” on her first day in office here, she said that attendance through cell phone would be started on trial basis in one block next week and thereafter it would be extended to the entire district gradually.

“It will help us know whether school teachers are coming on time or not. If the SMS attendance system is linked to my office, it can be easily monitored. To make it foolproof, our officials can do surprise checks in schools to see whether the teachers are present in school or not,” she said. The help of National Informatics Centre would be sought to implement the idea which was aimed at ensuring punctuality of teachers in government schools. She said there was a need for an improvised attendance system to know whether or not teachers were present during school hours.

Ms. Amudhavalli was keen to focus on achieving good results for standard X and XII students in Madurai district in the ensuing public examinations. “Low performance schools and weak students would be identified soon and we will concentrate on them. Melur educational district may require special attention,” she added.

Before coming to Madurai, Ms. Amudhavalli had worked as CEO of Cuddalore and Dharmapuri districts.