By Elmer Recuerdo
NAVAL, Biliran — To solve the problem of school attendance and the security of students, the municipal government of this town is implementing an innovation that will allow parents to know when their children are already inside the school premises as well as the time they left for home.
The Student Monitoring System was pilot tested on Wednesday at the Naval Central School, where 2,000 pupils were issued an identification card that can be tapped on a launching pad upon entry and exit of the school gate.
Once the ID is tapped, the system automatically sends a text message to the parents with a timestamp that the child has already entered or exited the campus. Without the text message, parents will know that their child did not go to school.
“This is our way of solving the attendance problem that is bugging some classes in some schools,” Naval Mayor Gerard Espina said.
He clarified, though, that school drop-out is not a problem in Naval schools. “There are times when a student just does not want to go to school or they cut classes,” he added.
The system is being pilot tested in one of the four central schools of the municipality and once the system is proven successful, Espina wants it implemented in other schools of Naval especially in high schools.
“We will be capitalizing on the technology. If we already have this, why not use in all schools? We have the manpower to do that,” he said.
Espina said that this is the first of its kind in the whole Eastern Visayas, although a number of private schools in Metro Manila are already implementing this kind of system.
He added that this also serves as a method for public address system for any announcement coming from the school or the mayor’s office such as class suspensions due to bad weather, wherein the announcement will be forwarded through the system so that parents will be notified through text messages.
It can also be used to inform parents when a teacher of a pupil cannot come to school for whatever reason.
Espina said they were initially offered by a private company to do the system for P1 million but turned the offer down since the municipal government has an information technology department that is capable to do the program. “We only spent P140,000 both for the hardware and software used in this system.”
He added he is hoping that this innovation will be replicated in other local government units as this also helps in ensuring the security of the children.