From next year, schools in rural areas will be equipped with biometric systems to track students and teachers.
The initiative, a joint effort between the school education and the rural development departments, seeks to check teacher absences, tabulate student attendance and also ensure appropriate student: teacher ratios. The government has approached Tata Consultancy Services to prepare the software and are confident that it will be ready for use in the new academic year.
“Before term opens next year we will use the software to find out how many teachers are there in each of the schools, which areas have teacher shortages, and so on,” said Jayant Patil rural development minister at a conference at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre on Thursday.
“No school should be short of teachers and there should be no compromise on education.”
The school education department is also set to undergo a “big revolution”, as it seeks to build an online database of all kinds of information about schools, said Fauzia Khan, minister of state for school education at the same conference.
“The government is considering going forward with e-resources and a databank of schools as soon as possible where approvals, permissions and information could be available at the click of a button,” said Khan.
Khan also spoke about other challenges facing teachers and students. “If I look at the curriculum today, I think it is too burdensome. We need to keep every student’s potential within view.” In a lighter vein, she spoke about how even teachers should be asked to wear uniforms, as some are poorly dressed, even sporting tobacco and pan stains on their faces. “It is a good idea for teachers to look appealing,” she said. “A uniform brings a sense of uprightness and responsibility.”