A software to text parents alerting them about their wards’ absence in school was launched at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Krishnagiri on Thursday.

Chief Education Officer Maheshwari said that the system was the initiative of the school. The school had secured bulk Short Messaging Service (SMS) facility (40,000 SMSs) through the software and proposed to use it to send voice messages to parents along with texts to alert them if their wards are absent from school.

“This system is already practised by private schools and some colleges. We decided to emulate it on a pilot basis. Based on the feedback, other government school heads, if interested, can take it up,” says Ms. Maheshwari.

The girls school here has a student strength of 2,500. Every day, the list of class-wise absentees will be given to a coordinator who will then send mass voice messages and texts to their parents. In addition, the school may use the facility to alert parents on Parent Teacher Association meetings.

“The PTA and the teachers had collected Rs. 14,000 for the mass messaging scheme,” the CEO said.

According to her, the facility can be used to check child marriages too. In some cases, girl students won’t continue their studies after Class X as the parents may marry them off. Constant reminders and a follow-up visit in the absence of response can help student retention and curb child marriages.

For now, the facility has come as a boon to parents and teachers to check the safety of students. An early alert of the absentee will help in early intervention.

A similar system is in place in Illakyampatty government boys higher secondary school in Dharmapuri.

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