In a bid to revolutionize attendance tracking and boost transparency, government schools in Maharashtra announced plans to introduce the 'Attendance Bot', an online system to streamline student attendance records.
However, as the slated commencement date of December 1, 2023, approached, BMC-run and government-aided schools found themselves without official notifications or guidelines from the government regarding the implementation of the Attendance Bot.
"We have not received any notification or official notice on this development; we were not aware of this change," voiced Mrs. Veena Kale, Principal of Goshala Road Municipal Secondary English School Mulund (West).
Khushboo Singh, Principal of Saraswati Baug Municipal Higher Primary Hindi School in Jogeshwari, added, "A session was conducted some time ago about an app, but there is no clarity on how to use it or when it will be implemented."
Expressing a similar sentiment, Mr. Rahul Zende, Principal of Abhyudaynagar MPs Secondary School in Kalachouki, stated, "I am not aware of the attendance bot or if such a development is going to happen. No official approach has been made in this matter. Since we don't know about this app, we have not made any arrangements for the implementation."
Offering clarification amidst the delay, Mr. Amol Shingare, an official from Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad revealed that while some government-run schools have initiated the use of the Attendance Bot as scheduled, the implementation has faced delays in BMC schools across Maharashtra.
"Every teacher has been provided specific credentials to log in and ensure that they can only input attendance data for their assigned class. However, these credentials were provided by us. The teachers' data is categorized based on the wage system, and those schools whose data we possess have received official notices and have commenced using the Attendance Bot successfully," explained Shingare.
He also disclosed that they have only obtained the information of teachers whose salary system is managed through 'Shalarth' and are still awaiting the teacher data for 'Sevarth'. This delay in implementing the Attendance Bot at BMC schools is primarily due to this reason.
"We are still waiting for the 'Sevarth' data from the state government. Once received, we will circulate the official notice and conduct a session to familiarize them with the Attendance Bot," Shingare added.
The Attendance Bot constitutes a critical element of the Maharashtra Shikshan Samruddhi Kendra (MSSK), a technology-centric model aimed at consolidating data from government, aided, and civic-run schools across the state.
According to an order by Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad (MPSP) state project director Pramodkumar Dange, the online attendance system for classes 1 to 10 is a fundamental aspect of the MSSK—a technology-driven initiative intended to gather data from government, aided, and civic-run schools statewide.
Aligned with the Vidya Samiksha Kendra (VSK) in Gujarat, the model necessitates teachers to download a specific mobile application to input students' attendance data, forming a core part of this innovative system.