JAMMU: To put in place a comprehensive mechanism for creating a single source of authentic and readily available database for policy-making, evaluation and distribution of resources, the States Education Department has in a pioneering initiative launched the ambitious internet-based School Management Information System (SMIS).
Launched by Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti here on Friday, the SMIS developed by the Education Department is an integrated technology framework that automates the entire end-to-end management of school education and its related information in the State. SMIS is a comprehensive digital initiative which includes both e-management of schools and e-learning of students.
The Chief Minister has complimented the Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar and his team for taking personal interest and making painstaking efforts to develop such a comprehensive e-management system for the school education department.
According to the Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar, SMIS is a repository for data collection, processing, analyzing and reporting of educational information including schools, students, teachers and staff of each and every school in the state. It will provide administrators and teachers with the information required for informed planning, policy-making, and evaluation. It will also empower the local communities to get involved in their childrens education, he said and added that SMIS will be the largest e-governance initiative in J&K with a huge base of stakeholders involving 33% of total employees of the state and around 26 lakh students.
SMIS, according to Akhtar, provides readily available digital details of all the 28000 schools in the State, their location, type of school, number of classrooms, toilets, library, science labs, boundary wall, number of teachers, number of students, teacher-student ratio etc. SMIC will help in scientific rationalisation of staff and space in schools, helping deployment of subject and qualification wise teachers, he said and added it will also help the department to develop need-based career development programs for teachers. He said it will also keep track of the academic performance of the schools, students, enrolment and dropout rate.
According to the Minister for Education with a large school system in J&K spread across the length and breadth of the State, the absence of a reliable database has resulted in poor decision-making, lack of transparency and accountability, uneven infrastructure and non-reliable teacher and student records, which has compromised with the larger goal of quality education. Often, even when data is available after adhoc surveys, it is hardly used to guide education policies, he said.
Enumerating on the new e-system, Principal Secretary Education, Shaleen Kabra said the SMIS is the departments endeavour to achieve the objective of every school having a subject expert as far as possible. One room for one class standard is also one of the objectives of the department and this system shall go in a long way in achieving that larger goal towards quality education, he said and added that the SMIS shall generate automated seniority and retirement lists and e-services for students teachers and schools. Every official in the department shall be allotted a unique user-ID with password and shall have access to information within his respective jurisdiction, he said.
Kabra said the internet-based data application shall be accessible through all departmental websites at administrative department level, divisional level district level and zonal level. SMIS shall inform the stakeholders on the state of affairs of the sector, its internal and external efficiency, its performance, shortcomings and needs, he said and added that the parents and teachers shall be empowered with the school performance information to actively engage in school improvement planning process.
He said SMIS shall, in future, also have features like transfer management system. Any transfer affected at any level in the School Education Department shall be visible to the higher ups and the general public and system will ensure transparency in the transfers of employees and put an end to the menace of corruption, he said and added that the vacancies for a particular year can be worked out in advance and shall be referred to recruiting agencies in time which will not only curb the staff deficiency in schools at any point in time but also help to save the precious time in recruitment processes of the aspiring youth.
Kabra said the other features of SMIS include online leave management, e-Service Books and online General Provident Fund (GPF) processing. SMIS database is proposed to be supported by complete application software and the departmental employees who have the IT skills shall be trained to run the system from school to highest level, he said.
The software for SMIS has been voluntarily developed by Mohammad Irfan Dar of Quality Innovative Software Solutions.
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