New monitoring system improves Punjab schools’ condition: PITB



Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has claimed of improving Punjab schools’ condition following smart monitoring of schools in the 36 districts of the Punjab province.

According to the a latest evaluation, Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) results, the students’ enrollment has improved besides teachers’ presence and the availability of essential utilities.

Terming its initiative, PMIU with the School Education Department, Dr. Umar Saif Chairman PITB and Advisor to the Chief Minister Punjab expressed his satisfaction over the benefits of the new monitoring mechanism, which, he said was giving prove as most effective with enormous benefits, and include real-time reporting with pictorial evidence, geo-tagging of sites visited, and automatic SMS alerts on below target performance.

The centralized dashboard provided access to consolidated information for timely trend analysis and proving highly helpful in decision making, he added. The School Education Department has employed 950 field officers to act as an independent school monitoring layer for the Government of Punjab.

These field officers, known as Monitoring and Evaluation Assistants (MEAs), visit the 52,695 public schools across Punjab, every month, and report key stats including student enrollment, teacher presence, and the availability of utilities, at the time of their visit.

In an effort to maintain fairness and to discourage collusion, district monitoring officers and PMIU re-assigns and shuffles schools to be visited by each MEA during different months. PMIU also regularly communicates with its field staff to ensure adherence to assigned schedules.

PMIU and the School Education Department worked with PITB to equip MEAs with SIM-enabled tablet-PCs, allowing them to digitally submit forms in real-time, during their spot visits to schools. Tablet-PCs (with the school monitoring software application) have been provisioned for PMIUs 950 monitoring officers across all 36 districts of Punjab.

Most importantly, the School Education Department can now immediately identify which MEA performed a particular spot-visit making field monitoring staff directly and timely accountable for the data that they submitted. Over one million spot-visits to public schools have been processed and analyzed through the tablet-PC application, during the last three years.

PMIU reviews and monitors all visit activity through a real-time, online reporting dashboard, with drill-down capability to access the actual form filled by the MEA during the spot visit. The system also sends automatic SMS alerts to the concerned district administration and key officials of the School Education Department every evening highlighting school with low compliance.