Worn out students attendance registers at municipal schools in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) are going to be a thing of the past.
The cash-rich SDMC, which has a surplus of over Rs 360 crore, will become the first municipal corporation in the country to have biometric attendance system for its students. There are close to 3 lakh students in SDMC schools and a teaching staff of around 6,000.
"This would be a revolutionary step as no other corporation has the facility of biometric attendance in its schools. This will not only improve attendance but also the mid-day meal facility as we'll get the exact number of meals required in every school," a senior SDMC official said.
More than 500 schools fall under the jurisdiction of SDMC, which runs from Najafgarh to Badarpur and consists of four zones — Najafgarh, South, Central and West zones.
"In the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), there was a plan to install biometric attendance system for teachers and non-teaching staff but it got delayed due to the trifurcation," the officer added.
"Tenders for the biometric system would be floated soon and we hope it would be in place by the year-end. Our priority is education and we'll invest as much resources as we can to improve its quality in our schools," the officer said.
In the past, complaints related to teachers reporting late were on the rise and the corporation hopes this practice would be curbed with the biometric system in schools.
Former Delhi mayor MC Sharma said, "This is a very good step and would bring a change in the system. Schools with low student or teacher attendance can also be earmarked and their performance will improve once the system is in place. Other corporations should also replicate this model." Sharma has also been nominated to the education committee of North Delhi Municipal Corporation.