Biometric Attendance and Computer Aided Learning Systems Project (BACALS)

The Tribal Development Department along with Education Department had embarked upon implementing Biometric based Attendance System in the Schools and Institutes in 32 takulas of 8 tribal districts of Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Dahod, Panchmahal, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, & Vadodara. The project covers Primary & Upper Primary Schools of Education Department and Ashramshalas, Adarsh Niwasi shalas, Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS), Low-Literacy Girls Residential Schools (LLGRS), Model Schools & all hostels of Tribal Development Department. Under this project, the finger prints of the students and teachers were enrolled first. The attendance of the students is recorded once in the morning and that of the teachers two times - in the morning as well as in the evening using biometric device. The attendance of students & teachers recorded in a school is transmitted to respective District Head Quarter Server over internet on regular basis. An integrated web portal for all the 8 districts is operational and the following is the URL of the web portal.

The daily attendance data of the students and staff can be viewed on the web portal. In addition, various types of MIS reports can be generated using the web portal. A "Query Builder” has also been incorporated in the web portal to generate reports for specific requirements. Various type of alerts for non-receipt of attendance from schools, continuous absence of student; staff etc. are also part of the web portal.

The project is under implementation at 7129 schools/institutes of both Education & Tribal Development Departments covering all the 8 districts. The project is being operated on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis for 5 year period by HCL Infotech Ltd, the implementing agency. GSTES is the nodal agency for the project and IL & FS ETS is the project management & third party agency.

HCL Infotech Ltd has setup State Head Quarters (SHQ) in the premises of Sarva Shikhsha Abhiya (SSA) at Gandhinagar. District Head Quarters (DHQ) have been set up in each of the 8 districts along with Helpdesk. For the maintenance of the systems, HCL has deployed one Project Leader, Hardware Engineer, Software Engineer, Helpdesk executive at each district. In addition, one field engineer for every 25 schools has been deployed by HCL.

The other objective of this project is to provide Computer Aided Learning (CAL) using standard education software. As part of curriculum based education software, MediaPro Education software has been installed covering all the subjects. In addition, education software covering various general topics has also been installed in the computers.

Benefits of the Project :

  • This project enables the Government to curb irregularities in attendance at schools by establishing an effective and transparent monitoring mechanism through use of Biometric based technology for attendance capturing.
  • It has resulted in a noted improvement in the daily attendance of students as well as teachers at the schools located even in the most remote tribal areas which has automatically facilitated in enhancement of the level of education of students.
  • Through monitoring of daily attendance it becomes possible to identify students who remain absent for long periods and thereby it helps in reducing the dropout rates considerably.
  • The availability of attendance data of all schools of the entire district on a single integrated Web Portal enables more effective monitoring at taluka level and district level. Discrepancies in attendance of students as well as staff can be identified immediately and timely corrective action can be initiated by the taluka & district authorities.
  • Various educational softwares based on school curriculum as well as other general knowledge topics have been installed in the computers used for this project. This provides an opportunity of obtaining computer aided learning to the students of tribal areas. It also helps in providing hands on training to the students regarding usage of the computer for educational purposes.

Science Laboratory Schools under GSTES :

  • In order to ensure that the students in the schools under Gujarat State Tribal Education Society opt for Science stream and enter professional and reputed courses like Medical, Engineering, etc, science stream has been introduced in 22 schools.
  • Science stream requires theoretical as well as practical knowledge of the subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In order to excel in the field of Medical and Engineering, more emphasis is laid on the practical knowledge of the subjects. Practical knowledge helps in understanding the application of the theoretical aspects.
  • Gujarat State Tribal Education Society has made a provision of Science laboratories of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at these schools.
  • Apart from the students of Standard 11 and 12 science stream, these laboratories are also being utilised by the students of Standard 6 to 10 to understand the practical aspects related to Science subject.
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