STIR Education Micro-Innovations that raise results STUDENT ATTENDANCE SCANNER

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1 STIR Education Micro-Innovations that raise results STUDENT ATTENDANCE SCANNER

2 FOCUS: DISCILINE STUDENT ATTENDANCE SCANNER STIR EDUCATION At STIR Education, our belief is that the best way to improve the quality of education is to empower teachers and principals. As the people closest to the challenges of providing all children a high quality education, teachers and principals are uniquely placed to lead change in the education system. STIR has two very simple ideas about how to do this: 1. By identifying the teachers and principals who have created successful, innovative practices what we call micro-innovations to improve education in their schools and recognising their efforts publicly. 2. By creating an ecosystem that enables those micro-innovations to be shared with other teachers and schools through partner organisations and teacher networks and that encourages and inspires the development of additional micro-innovations By identifying teachers innovations and building the STIR network of teachers what will become India s most creative community of teachers - our aim is to improve the quality of education for over 1 million children in the next three years. This guide introduces just five of our micro-innovations: We hope that it inspires you to introduce a similar idea in your classroom, to share your own micro-innovations with STIR and to join the STIR network of innovative educators! AJAY GARG AND SACRED HEART PUBLIC SCHOOL Ajay Garg is the founder and Principal of Sacred Heart Public School. Ajay s passion is to identify innovative ways to educate children, to support teachers to implement these ideas and to help parents understand the value of education. He is driven by a desire to help children achieve good exam results and works hard to motivate his teachers towards the same. Sacred Heart Public School is a private school located on the Anarkali Road in East Delhi and caters for 300 children. The majority of the children at the school are first generation learners. Ajay is working hard to increase their opportunities by improving the facilities and technology available at the school.

3 HOW CAN I INCREASE STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND ENSURE STUDENTS ARE SAFE? If students are to learn, they need to be at school regularly and both teachers and parents need to know that their children are safe at home, at school and between home and school! Equally important for student learning is that teachers attend school regularly and teach lessons. Ajay was keen to find a way to keep track of student attendance - in order to provide clear information to parents about their children s attendance levels and teacher attendance so he could hold them to account for their work. I was aware that regular attendance of teachers and students alike is a must for student learning and wanted to gather attendance data in an efficient and transparent manner to help hold teachers and parents to account. DO THESE CHALLENGES SOUND FAMILIAR? Ajay implemented a TECHNOLOGY BASED SOLUTION that saves him time and gives him all the INFORMATION he needs about STUDENT and TEACHER ATTENDANCE. AJAY S SOLUTION: STUDENT ATTENDANCE SCANNER To help encourage and monitor high student and teacher attendance at Sacred Heart Public School, Ajay introduced a new technology. Ajay invested in a biometric fingerprinting system and requires each student and teacher to touch in when they enter the school and touch out when they leave the school every day. The technology automatically sends an SMS to parents registered mobile phone numbers to let them know the exact time at which their child has arrived the school and when the child has left the school. This helps both the school and parents to keep their children safe. The technology provides Ajay with very good data about student attendance and punctuality that can be used to inform discussion between parents and school. It also gives him very clear data about teacher attendance that can be used as the basis for discussions with teachers if their attendance is unacceptably low.

4 AJAY S ADVICE Ajay s micro-innovation is successful not because it gives him information about student and teacher data; it is successful because Ajay also uses the information from the scanner to build stronger relationships and hold teachers to account. Ajay s has three key pieces of advice for any teachers and principals considering introducing a student attendance scanner: 1. When introducing the scanner explain to parents and teachers exactly how it works and how you plan to use the information. Let them know that you value their presence at the school and that student and teacher attendance is fundamental to student learning. 2. Think very carefully about the processes you will put in place when you have the information from the scanner before introducing it. How will you work with parents whose children s attendance is low? How will you work with teachers who have low attendance? Have a plan before you introduce the scanner. STUDENT ATTENDANCE SCANNER: STEP BY STEP GUIDE PREPARATION AND RESOURCES REQUIRED 3. IT WILL BE VERY USEFUL FOR AT LEAST ONE STAFF MEMBERS TO LEARN ABOUT THE TECHNICAL DETAILS OF HOW THE SCANNER WORKS. 1. YOU WILL REQUIRE INITIAL FUNDS TO INSTALL THE MACHINE (APPROXIMATELY ` 13000) 2. THE SCHOOL WILL REQUIRE A GOOD INTERNET CONNECTION FOR THE SCANNER TO WORK. To introduce an attendance scanner in the same way as Ajay did, follow the steps below: 1. Create a plan for how you will use teacher and student attendance data when available to you think about clear aims for the use of the data. scanner in school

5 2. Install the scanner and ensure that you and at least one other member of staff have a good knowledge of how the scanner works. 3. Explain very clearly to parents and teachers why you are implementing the scanner, how you plan to use the data it provides and your reasons for introducing it. 4. Ask different classes to arrive at different times so that there are not huge queues to scan in at the start of the day WHAT DO OTHER TEACHERS SAY? POSITIVE BENEFITS The scanner means that we know which students we have to chase up to ensure they attend regularly. It means we have proper information to back us up when speaking to parents about their children s attendance. CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME It can be frustrating if there are power cuts or technical problems with the scanner or if it requires maintenance back up registration systems are required as well. 5. Introduce clear recognition and rewards for teachers and students who have consistently high attendance and levels of punctuality 6. Create opportunities for any teachers and students who have questions or concerns about the scanner to these with you Explain your reasons for the scanner and be open to suggestions for improvement. teachers giving attendance

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