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Punjab to get a biometric whip
Taming school students and teachers

Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 20
Punjab has found a perfect solution to rein in truant government schoolteachers and students. District Education Officers (DEOs) will monitor the functioning of government schools in the state online as part of a Punjab government scheme. There is also a proposal to install biometric system of attendance in 400 schools across the state wherein attendance will be registered on the machines reading fingerprints of students.

The first set of five such schools in SAS district will be up-linked with the DEO’s office in Mohali next week when the pilot project of the scheme takes off.

Swipe attendance cards will be issued to the teachers.

“Each day the DEO’s office will have complete access to the total number of students attending school, the teachers who came on time and those who were late, the bills that were generated, the funds which were used, the examination which were conducted and even the lessons that were taught,” said Amarpreet Singh of Shah Infosys, a Mohali-based company that has developed the software.

Monitoring is just one aspect. The system that has been set up in these five schools and is to be installed later in all senior secondary schools of the state, is actually a management system.

“The software that has been developed will help the school manage everything, beginning from admissions, teaching, funds and examinations. Use of the library for example can be managed through the system. Bills, certificates, routine correspondence each and everything done in the schools will be routed through the system. We can expect paperless functioning of the school, ” said Amarpreet.

“The aim is not just to monitor and manage the functioning of schools. We will also collect vital data. Data is a big problem when it comes to system and networks as huge and widespread as government schools across a state”, pointed out ADC SAS Nagar Ajoy Sharma.

District education officer, SAS Nagar, B.S. Sidhu said the five schools chosen for the pilot project in SAS Nagar were senior secondary schools at Kurali, Mohali, Sialba, Mubarakpur and Lalru. “These schools are at present entering data into the system. It should be functional once the data entry is complete and the system in the schools is connected to my office here in Mohali,” he said.

Ajoy Sharma believes that biometric system of attendance is required in primary schools.

“Machines that can read finger impressions will be installed in all primary schools in Dera Bassi to begin with. Apart from monitoring attendance of the teachers and the students the data will also be helpful in gauging the success of primary school schemes like the mid-day meal scheme and the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyaan.

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