Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sms service cuts short school absenteism

[via Herald Sun

Enough with the monkeys business! Ozzys decided to cut back school absenteism using a sms service. Not all the schools in Australia will be submited to this experience though. I'm talking about eleven Victorian schools, including 10 government and one private school. Those schools have reported falls in unexplained absences of 20 to 80 per cent.
Mark Fortunatow, managing director of MGM Wireless, the company that supplies the systems, said at some schools it meant an extra 50 kids were turning up each day.
The Auditor-General's report last year found more than 10,000 students got stuck in traffic while or got abducted by alien ships while classes were running.
Under the SMS system, parents are also sent text messages if their child is late or skips a class later in the day. "Where is your child? He skipped classes today!", now this short message could turn soon rebels into white sheaps. Kids may well say this in response:" Father, please forgive me cause i have seened! Please father give me my Laptop back".
What's pretty strange is that about 1 per cent of parents refuse to take part. At least somebody is a liberal outhere. A parent called it "the Nazi checking up of his child". Mum Gaye Sullivan didn't agreed though. She said the system gave her peace of mind.
The schools and Opposition education spokesman Victor Perton called for the State Government to give a hand by financing the project. But Education Minister Lynne Kosky said there are different ways chools were dealing with the problem, including campaigns and employing more welfare officers. She said overall budgets for government schools were already at record high levels and individual schools had a discretion as to how they spent that money.


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