Smart Cards for Smarter Schools

Smart Cards for Smarter Schools

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The smart cards have been around since the 1980s. The new generation smart cards are smarter than their older cousins, as they feature magnetic strips for additional durability and security. Commonly used for identification and authentication purposes, a smart card is embedded with a chip that is capable of processing data. Technology is evolving at an exponential pace and the initial contact smart cards have given way to contactless smart cards, which are further being replaced with hybrid cards gradually.

But how can smart cards be of use in schools and other educational institutes? The answer is simple – by recording and processing data. Schools are required to collect and process huge amounts of data every day, most of which is done manually. By introducing smart cards to do the job, data processing not only gets simpler and easier, but also accurate, while saving on time and labour.

For example, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India drive, the Tamil Nadu Government has decided to introduce smart card system in its schools for attendance purposes. “A chip would be attached in the smart card which when examined show the attendance of students in the school. With this, the parents could verify if their children were attending the school,” said Tamil Nadu Education Minister K A Sengottiyan.

Smart cards have much more potential than just record attendance. Let’s take a look at some other applications of a smart card that can make a student’s life easier.

  • Smart ID – The complete profile of each student, faculty or staff can be stored or accessed through a smart card.
  • Attendance – Teachers need not spend time marking attendance. Students just need to carry their Smart IDs to school for attendance to be marked automatically. Even the faculty and other staff’s attendance can be recorded in the same way.
  • Fee Payment – Making fee payment becomes hassle free. Students can swipe their smart card and use its unique PIN to pay the money.
  • Library Management – From issuing and returning library books to keeping track of the due date and fine collected, smart cards are extremely useful for library management. The fine can be paid by students using their smart cards.
  • Canteen & Store – Just like fee payment, students can use their smart cards to buy food, books, and other stationery from the canteen and the school store. This way it is easier to manage the accounts as well.
  • Medical History – In case of medical emergencies or situations, medical history recorded in the smart cards would be of huge help.
  • Student Tracking System – With the help of smart cards, it is possible to track students and school buses easily.

It is clear that the use of smart cards could help in simplifying labour oriented works and in storage of massive amounts of data. Moreover, the integration of smart cards, biometrics and the development of hybrids can change the way we look at the future of education, medical, banking, travel and many other sectors.