According to a recent TOI report, the state of Maharashtra is witnessing a massive shift towards transparency in the education sector.
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education is in the process of collecting information regarding all secondary schools across the state.
The state plans to make this information available online for the citizens. It therefore means that the status of any school in the state when it comes to the number of students, teachers, location, innovative initiatives, past results and other such details will be readily available at the disposal of citizens.
The Fadnavis led Maharashtra government is moving rather quickly in this direction, as 70 per cent of the schools in the state have already submitted their details while the rest of them will submit the relevant information by October 20. Once this process is successfully completed, there will be a total shift in how the education system operates in Maharashtra with citizens being empowered to access school profiles at the click of a mouse.
This process in Maharashtra is very much in line with the central government’s ambitions of ensuring transparency in the working of schools. The Modi government is looking towards uploading and including in the online form, all necessary information regarding schools such as the number of teachers and students and infrastructure-related information.
The government is also looking towards geo-tagging in order to determine the location of specific schools. The Modi government will complete this process within a period of six months. It must be noted that both government and private schools would be included in this exercise.
The HRD Ministry has taken the step at a time when there has been a surge in the number of complaints regarding schools providing false information in order to obtain financial aid. Such schools also include a large number of government-aided schools. The government-run schools throughout the country are also battling deficiencies in terms of lack of teachers in some of the schools where one or two teachers are running entire schools and the lack of infrastructure is a major issue.
This is going to be a mammoth exercise as there are 15.59 lakh schools across the country which are supposed to be covered by the exercise. Moreover, the government will also go for third party verification and feedback would be taken from ordinary citizens too. In case there is any discrepancy or wrong information is submitted, an investigation would be duly launched upon such a complaint.
It must be noted that the Modi government had launched the ambitious Rs. 9,000 crore plan to digitize education delivery in government-run schools and colleges throughout the country in February this year. HRD Minister, Prakash Javdekar had said at the time that the initiative taken by the “digital board” would be implemented over a period of three years starting from the 2019-20 academic year.
Consequently, it is evident that the Modi government is bringing about a sea change in the education sector by effectively employing digital technology in a holistic manner. Making information about schools available in the online format is just a part of this broader approach.
The Modi government has taken a huge initiative to tackle the issue of misleading information about schools throughout the country and this is a bold step towards eliminating corruption in the education sector.
The underlying idea is to ensure that schools- whether private or government, operational throughout the country, shall not be able to slip under the radar after providing false information to the government.
The Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has taken a lead in this direction and once it successfully puts in place the system of uploading information about schools throughout the state of Maharashtra in the online avatar, it will set a precedent for the rest of the states to replicate.