The state school education department has asked government-aided schools in Maharashtra to install biometric verification systems to ensure schools don’t get bogus students and staff on their rolls and to keep track of students’ attendance.
Biometric systems use biological traits such as fingerprints, iris patterns, hand geometry and others for identification.
According to a circular issued by Sunil Sardar, education officer, government-aided schools which do not get the system in place will not receive salary and non-salary grants. The circular has asked education officials to send a division-wise list of schools that don’t have the system in place.
Although the education department had made installation of the system compulsory last year after a survey to count the number of out-of-school students in Maharashtra, only a few schools installed it.
Most city schools don’t have biometric attendance, especially for students. School principals said aided schools cannot afford such devices. “If the government wants to monitor attendance using bio-metric system, they must give us the money to do so,” said Uday Nare, senior teacher, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri.
Officials said the decision was taken to ensure schools do not show bogus students or staffers on their rolls. A survey in 2011 found that close to 1.08 lakh schools in Maharashtra had written names of fake students and teachers on their attendance register to get grants from the government. Of the 2.3 crore students in these schools, only 1.8 crore were genuine.