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Submitted by AK Shaikh RSU on
I fully support the view that mobile phones may have myriad potential uses. The extent of its acceptance and use in the developing countries in every day life is phenomenal. Hence it offers the greatest potential if rightly used and harvested in education sector. In Sindh province of Pakistan, we have had a very interesting idea on a potential use of SMS through Mobile phones. Our challenges is how to create audit trail of uses of funds disbursed to School Management Committees (equivalent of Parent Teacher Councils). The idea under consideration is to obtain a central SMS box facility with a cellular company for storing transaction information from all School Management Committees as soon as they intend to spend funds. Every time the SMCs will send in an SMS at a designated number some specific information in accordance with simple prescribed protocols. The SMS received will confirm the unique ID of the SMC and its account and confirm the information is appropriately recorded, and will also inform the sender of the balance of amount remaining with it [ funds lie with the SMC at their local bank account]. The central monitoring agency in this case, let's say, education department, may access information on SMC expenditures, both district wise, or even school wise, and can send a field monitoring team to check if the transactions reported did result in the goods promised to be purchases. This initiative may resolve the major challenge of creating an audit trail in real time basis. If used successfully, it will offer plethora of opportunities for its use in obtaining monthly enrolments and drop outs. This may be just the beginning. Best regards, AK Shaikh RSU, Sindh, Pakistan