Interactive portal eases students’ burden
Rajesh Kashyap, a student at the Government Model School in Bhiwani is busy burning midnight oil. Less than two weeks remain before he will be joining thousands of students, who like him will be appearing for the XII Standard State Board Examinations. Rajesh has yet to receive his admit card and roll number which will allow him to sit for the Board examinations. This, however, is not a cause of worry for him, for he knows at the click of a mouse not only can he access the information that he requires but can also print his admit card from the interactive website developed for this purpose.
The website http://hbse.nic.in is a two-year old initiative of the Board of School Education, Haryana and the State Unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC). The Board of School Education, Haryana is the nodal agency which provides services to the general public in the field of education. It also conducts examinations at the Middle, Matric and Senior Secondary level and also runs an open school. Before the introduction of this Information Communication Technology (ICT) initiative in the Board, the whole system of enrolment and examination and declaration of results was a manual process. Team Skoch interacted with the IT Cell at the Board of School Education. We were informed that the existing system was prone to malpractices and lacked transparency, and that it was a very lengthy and not a very practical way for crosschecking and verification of data.
In order to improve the overall working efficiency, service standards, transparency, and dissemination of information like, examination results, roll number slips, admit cards, provisional certificates and other related documents. The Secretary of the Board, initiated steps in administrative re-engineering of Education Board. With the introduction of ICT, steps were taken for automation of the pre and post phase examination process. A database of students enrolment form, including their photographs and signature and results was prepared by using a fast scanning solution.
NIC designed, developed and hosted the interactive website to give information to the general public. The results were declared in a very short period of time and details were made available on website and through IVR System and other possible communication media. The ICT initiative was yet another feather in the cap for the Board of School Education, which had earlier initiated the process of giving admit cards to all private students on the internet.
The new web-enabled software was developed by NIC Haryana, to monitor the results of various exams – Middle, Matric, Senior Secondary and Open School (Secondary, Senior Secondary) – conducted by the Haryana School Education Board, Bhiwani, under the brand name ‘Result Through Binocular’ (RTB). The RTB helps the administrators/government in making policy decisions, in formulating Board policy, comparisons, decisions relating to award of grace marks and grades. It also helps parents seeking admissions for their wards and teachers for comparisons of performance. It also allows comparisons of subjects/schools/district results in an area-wise/sex-wise format.
The technology driven administrative re-engineering, say students, is a boon for them as they do not have to waste time and money in visiting the Board’s office to get duplicate copies of their admit cards anymore. It also allows them instant access to results as they are posted on the website instead of getting them through newspapers or by visiting the city. Earlier, they could only get grand total of marks scored by them; today they get their Detailed Marks Card (DMC) from the website, allowing them to apply for admissions to higher classes.
According to the officers at NIC’s State Office the solution provided by them had to meet a number of challenges. It had to have the flexibility to allow students to download and print duplicate copy of admit card from the internet with all the necessary details like photo, signatures of student and issuing authority along with the centre of examination.
In the pre-phase examination process, the very first step is the enrolment of students at Education Board at Middle Level. A new enrolment form was designed to allow for a scanning process for collecting data, photographs and signatures. The data was then stored in the database using a technology, which provides speedy and accurate data entry. A unique and permanent enrolment number was then given to students, which was valid till they appeared for their senior secondary examinations. In the post-phase examination process, OMR (optical mark recognition) sheets were designed and training was imparted to paper examiners for filling up these sheets. The result data was captured and stored directly from OMR sheets to a database. This process facilitated speedy and accurate data entry and the result process system helped in early declaration of results.
The solution provided works on Windows Operating System and is an internet based, web enabled application. It uses MS-ASP at the front-end and MS-Sql Server RDBMS at the back-end. The NIC Internet Data Centre hosts the interactive website. A VPN secure connectivity was provided at the Board premises for remote updating of the website.
The website was designed and hosted exclusively for publishing the results of the Board, and to provide information, about the Education Board, their objectives, the administrative setup, various branches, news, syllabi, previous examination papers, recommended books details, downloadable forms and much more. Though earlier too the internet was used for publishing the results, but RTB facilitates not only checking the results but provides the following services; result sheet with Father’s Name, Mother’s Name, Date of Birth, School Name, subject wise detail, and, Total Marks obtained in figures as well as in words. Provisional Certificates valid for a limited time with Student’s Photograph and a Bar Code to check any modification in it is also provided.
Another huge benefit is the provision of a Roll Number Search Engine to find out the Roll Number with just a part of the information. The website also provides the list of students who have topped in Board /District/School in overall result or in a particular subject. The results have also been categorised into a number of formats; Boys/Girls/All; Rural/Urban/All Areas and Government/Private/All Schools. It also allows for a comparison of pass or fail percentage, merits, compartments, and average marks secured with the selection of school type, sex, area, all subjects or particular subject. The software also helps in analysing weak points, weak areas and places/persons requiring special attention. The performance analysis software enables a comprehensive and multilateral comparison among various districts on various parameters.
After the successful implementation of this software, various universities, schools and institutions do not ask for verification of result of any student from Board since all the information is available online. Students too do not worry about verification delays or uncertainties in admission anymore. The software also helps students compare their result with others allowing him to judge his chances getting admission.
Nearly 4,70,000 candidates of Middle and 3,21,491 candidates of Secondary appeared at 1,813 centres during the first phase of the examination. For the effective inspection of the centres, 443 flying squads were formed to check usage of unfair means. During the second phase of examinations, Senior Secondary Second Semester Examination were conducted during March 2008 in which 1,45,378 candidates appeared at 725 examination centres. To dovetail this ICT implementation with the rest of the e-Governance initiatives, the state government plans to deliver the services of the Board of School Education through 1,159 Rural and 104 Urban Common Service Centres throughout the State. A comprehensive ERP solution is also on anvil for automating all Haryana School Education Board functions.