Saturday, 29 September 2012

Challenges of School Administration - Post 1

This blog series on “The Challenges of School Administration” would try to put forward the current hurdles and issues being faced by School Administration.


1: Student Admission

The Process:

Typically the school admission process consists of the following steps:

  1. The registration window opens and the Registration/Application Forms are made available in schools or can be downloaded from the school website.

  2. Parents fill the form and send them to schools (they drop the form personally by going to the school or courier it) along with paying the registration fee by DD in most cases. 

  3. The school administrative process starts after the last date of submission of Application Forms.  
    • School Administrative Department collects the forms and sends them to the Admission Department.  
    • The Admission Department has the tough job of going through the information of each child and based on the selection criteria, the school has defined, check if the child is eligible. Further filtering might be performed to shortlist around 1/3rd of the applicants for interview. 
    • Personal interview is conducted for each of the shortlisted candidate & his/her parents; And the school finally prepares a list of the selected children.
  1. Selected child and his/her parents are invited to fill out the Admission Form and to submit all other necessary documents to complete the admission process. 
  2. This form is provided to the school data entry operator and details are filled into the “School Administration Software”.


The Challenges we see:

The Registration Problem
  • When does the registration process for the school starts since it varies from school to school?
  • How and from where does a parent obtain the school admission form? These days for few schools they are available on the internet, but for others they are still to be collected from school and then filled and submitted.
  • Ahh....the Registration form fee submission..! This involves a painful process of making a DD (demand draft). Think about it, when a parent needs to apply to multiple schools. Believe us, getting a DD done is not easy. :)

Consider a typical scenario where a school receives 1000 application forms and only 100 students would be taken. Filtering is applied and around 300 students are called for personal interview with their parents and finally from these the school selects its 100 students.

The Selection Problem
  • Manually going through all the 1000 applications and checking if the child satisfies the criteria, put forth by the school: This is a time consuming and tedious job which might take a couple of weeks’ effort.
  • Selecting the 1/3rd of students from the filtered list: Consider if 600 students satisfy the criteria laid and only 300 are to be called for interview. In that case schools have to further refine the criteria and need to go through the 600 forms again for further filtration.
  • Storing these forms for posterity so they can be retrieved quickly when required (for official and legal purposes).  

The Data Entry Problem
  • Taking these lengthy humanly filled admission forms and entering the data in “School Administration system” software which would store it to a database.  
  • Same problem was mentioned earlier, i.e to store the forms for posterity so that they can be retrieved quickly when required (for official and legal purposes).  

Do you have any ideas on how we can solve this? 
Post your comments and let us know. Together we can and we will find the solution/s..!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Oral Health Awareness Camp by MANTRA

PreCIOUS Workshop @Shantinagar, Bangalore

This independence day, MANTRA joined hands with the residents of slums in the Shantinagar area in Bangalore and sojourned into the mystic world of Oral Health and Hygiene.

While the beautiful tricolor was dancing with the cool Bangalore breeze, hundreds of elderly, young and kids gathered around to listen to Dr.KG Nagesh – a practising dentist in Bangalore (and a renowned Kannada actor by hobby), as he explained about the healthy oral practices.

Before the interesting session had begun, people were asked to fill a survey questionnaire, meant to capture their existing level of awareness on the subject. The questionnaire had simple questions, like-
  •     How many times in a day do you brush?
  •     How long do you brush?
  •    When do you change your tooth brush?

The results, when analyzed presented a sad picture. To share some of the findings in the blog,
  1. Over 80% of respondents did not brush twice a day.
  2.  Approx. 50% did not know how long should they brush. They felt brushing for 10 seconds was sufficient to clean the teeth,
  3.  More than 40% felt smoking or chewing tobacco was alright for their oral health.
There were many such astonishing results that came out of that small survey. No wonder, public listened in absolute awe, when Dr. Nagesh explained the same facts to them and demonstrated the right way of brushing teeth. He told, how serious and painful teeth & gum problems can be prevented by simply following healthy practices.

Also, a preliminary Dental Checkup was done for 30 among the audience that included people from all age-groups. When the session ended, we could only find smiling faces basking in the knowledge, they had just gained.

Over such smiling note, MANTRA completed the workshop on Oral Health & Hygiene under the umbrella of its program, PreCIOUS.

Monday, 24 September 2012

K-cafe - a MANTRA initiative

In today's world, where schools have become a business enterprise and education sector a profitable investment option, who has time to look beyond books..? One class with 40+ kids - Individual attention to students is just an illusion. The rote-learning and conventional pedagogy methods (incl. "go and stand out of the class" situations) have left no stone unturned to kill the caterpillar of curiosity and inquisitiveness before they could change into the colorful, lively butterflies.

At MANTRA, we realize that curiosity is the stepping stone to real learning. And inquisitiveness in child makes this entire learning process fun - because, then children do not perceive it as being forced upon them. Ever since this realization dawned upon us, we had been playing with ideas to rectify this problem. Hence came the K-cafe.

K-cafe is an informal forum, where children can uninterruptedly question, discuss and share their idea/s in Science & Technology, Mathematics, Languages and Humanities. We intend to blend learning into excitement and into an ever-lasting impact.

We call it an Ultimate Hangout for Knowledge. :)

Come, let's Question, Discuss and Explore.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

MANTRA Programs - an introduction

MANTRA an an organization is committed to the cause of Education and Healthcare. Aligned with the vision, "To champion the never-ending quest for a better world through our innovative models and projects, making Education and Health the flywheel of development"

MANTRA began its sojourn in the year 2012 with the launch of two Programs:

1. TaRgET (Talent Recognition, Engagement and Training)

Through this, we aim to prepare children for an increasingly competitive world - one that requires our children to have skills over and beyond prescribed.  

TaRget aims at identifying outstanding young talent across socio-economic spectrum through various products and projects and provide them with opportunities in form of mentorship, scholarship and other such vehicle/s so as to ensure that such talent have a successful and impactful careers in the long term.

2. PreCIOUS (Preventive Care for Inhabitants of Urban Slums)

PreCIOUS is MANTRA's attempt to promote the myriad aspects of  Preventive healthcare in day-to-day lives, especially for the economically challenged. 

With rising cost of curative healthcare (treatments), do those residing in slums, under unhygienic and inhuman circumstances, have an alternative than getting into debts? Yes. 

PreCIOUS aims at raising the healthcare related awareness among the mass and at promoting the cost-effective solutions to a healthy & smiling life. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

About Mantra

 MANTRA is the Maverick Association for Novelty, Transformation and Radical Augmentation.

MANTRA is a 'distinguished' dream-
of a perseverant and passionate team;
               who've pledged to drive the winds of change
               thru' the dilapidated walls of existing system-
               Well beyond any defined range.

"Education maketh a man", they say.
For the wealth of health, they constantly pray..!
Yet, none seem to actually care-
               How the standard of education & health
               has slipped down the stair..!

MANTRA aims to challenge this chore.
Apparently, 'Prevention is better than cure'.
               To nurture creativity is our Goal.
               We envision encouraging Novelty as a way of life-
               And bring Innovation to the fore.

Problems are multifarious, we reckon,
Also, that they stand in deep unison.
We know,
An egalitarian society has so far been an absolute illusion..!
But, MANTRA believes in pragmatic actions.
               The time has come-
            Let's talk about Solutions.