If everything goes as per plan, every piece of information about every primary and high school will just be a click away for parents.
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) education department has started an ambitious project of gathering data of every school, across boards about the infrastructural and teaching facilities they provide, under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Easy access: The PMC is in touch with the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) to build a web portal for parents so that they can access information about any private school in the city. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION
Speaking about the project, Meenakshi Raut, PMC education officer (secondary), said, “In April, we asked all schools of the city to send us information about their academics and infrastructure, and have received about 90 per cent of information till date. We have segregated the schools into 15 zones.”
Once the data is collected, the PMC, in collaboration with the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL), is planning to develop a single-window web portal where anyone can retrieve this information of any school in the city.
“This is a first-of-its-kind undertaking by the PMC. We are in touch with the MKCL to build a web portal for parents, so that they can access information about any private school in the city,” Raut added.
As per a Government Resolution (GR), dated December 31, 2013, the municipal commissioner was established as the competent authority for every school, public or private. Aside from effectively running government schemes like the mid-day meal, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, etc., the PMC is also responsible for the implementation of the RTE Act.
“As every primary school comes under RTE, we have gathered data of these schools and are ready to hand it over
to MKCL,” informed Shivaji Daundkar, PMC education officer (Primary).
RTI activist, Vivek Velankar, said, “If the PMC is able to implement this, it will bring a much-needed transparency in the education sector. Rather than taking a blind decision while selecting a school for their children, parents will now be able to take an informed decision.”
When mid-day contacted MKCL, a senior officer, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the same, “The education department had approached us recently to discuss the project. However, MKCL is currently busy with the online admission process of Std XI for Mumbai and Pune. We will only be able to start working on it (school portal) once this project gets over.”
When this reporter asked about the feasibility of the school project, he said, “As PMC has collected the information, making it available on a web portal is feasible. MKCL has conducted a similar project called ‘Digital University’ in the past as well.”
>> Status of school building
>> Number of classrooms
>> Number of separate toilets for girls and boys
>> Drinking water facility
>> Availability of textbooks
>> Status of computer lab — how many computers are there in the lab
>> Kitchen shed
>> Presence of a fire-fighting system in the school
>> Approved strength of teachers and number of teachers currently working in the institution