Biometric attendance not in sight
Nidhi Bhanot, Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, April 16, 2012
To keep an eye on teachers' attendance in government senior secondary schools of Punjab, the education department had planned to install biometric attendance monitoring system in 2010 to improve the standard of study in government schools. However, two years on, the system has not been
introduced till now. In the past, a number of teachers were found absent from duty during surprise raids by the director general school education (DGSE) in different government schools of the city.
Under the pilot project, the department was to initially cover 56 schools of Punjab. The idea came into existence after witnessing the increasing number of absentee teachers in senior secondary government schools during the working hours. Teachers used to leave the school after marking their attendance.
The teachers' absence was affecting the studies of students and producing poor results in the board examinations in Punjab.
Sources in the education department revealed that the project that costed around Rs. 50 lakh would initially cover 110 schools in Punjab and if the pilot project was successful, the biometric system would be installed in 6,000 senior secondary schools of Punjab to keep a tab on teachers' attendance.
In the first 100 schools, they would either take five schools from each district whose teachers remain absent from duty most of the time or they would focus on the most-affected school in Punjab.
The officials added that the software to launch the project was ready. The software would be connected with the biometric attendance monitoring system through GPRS. The data of various schools would come on that software automatically.
They added that whenever a teacher would enter or leave a school, they would have to mark the attendance by leaving their fingerprints on the biometric attendance system.
"The software would be connected to GPRS whose server will be centralised in Chandigarh. The whole information will be available with the Chandigarh head office and all DEOs (secondary)," officials added.
Despite repeated attempts, DGSE Ashok Singla was not available for comment.