The Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has developed an early warning system to help government schools take measures in case a student is absent for long durations. The technology-based mechanism will help government schools in tracking the attendance of students to prevent incidences of dropouts and also aid children in case they are in a high-risk situation.
If a child is absent for more than seven days at a stretch or the attendance is merely 30 per cent in a month, the system will send SMS to his or her parents in Hindi, which will convey the message that the school is missing the student and waiting for them to return, DCPCR Chairman Anurag Kundu said. The next day, the parents would receive an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) call where a recorded message will urge the student to go back to school.
On the third day, the parents will receive a call from the teacher, inquiring about the reason for the child’s prolonged absence from school.
After learning about the reason, the teacher will key in detail in the portal.
The child will be provided assistance by the school and in case the reason is major, for instance, the death of a parent or both the parents, the DCPCR and other bodies will step in for assisting the child. Kundu said they started working on this project in October and it was supposed to be rolled out in April but the second wave of coronavirus deferred their plans.
He explained that if a child is absent for a prolonged period, it is an indicator that they are facing a huge crisis at home which is affecting their studies. The crisis may be loss of income of parents, early marriage, child labor, illness of parents, disability, etc, he said.
This system will detect the early sign, which is the long duration of absence from school, and help the authorities to work on it before the situation gets worse, he added. Till now, 250 principals across two districts have undergone an orientation programme on the system. The system is going to keep a track of the physical classes.