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After biometric failure, government wants teachers to mark attendance with selfie

Teachers in Uttarakhand question apprehensive about the proposal, ask what about remote areas with no mobile connectivity

dehradun Updated: Nov 23, 2017 20:01 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Bioemtric attendance system,Attendance with selfie,Uttarakhand news
Biometric attendance machine was not installed even at a single primary school, sources in the department said.(HT PHOTO)

School education minister Arvind Pandey is planning to introduce “selfie” attendance for government school teachers the Ujwal Seva application after the failure of biometric attendance system. The application was launched recently, but a formal order to ensure attendance on the portal is yet to be taken.

Teachers, however, are apprehensive about the proposed move.

“What has the government planned for remote places where there is no mobile connectivity or teachers who do not use smartphones. This idea will also fade away in a few days like biometric,” a government school teacher said.

The news comes amid an intense campaign by teachers for their organisational election.

Following a directive from the Nainital high court in 2015 to ensure biometric attendance for teachers, the school education department was able to cover only 3,000 secondary and high school this year. The hill state has over 17,000 schools.

Importantly, biometric attendance machine was not installed even at a single primary school, sources in the department said.

“The department didn’t install a biometric system at our school. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have any problems,” a government school teacher posted at Viskasnagar said requesting anonymity.

The ‘selfie’ attendance, of which the minister would soon issue a government order, was also not acceptable to them, said teachers.

Sohan Singh, the former general secretary of the Government School Teachers Association, said, “One has to be practical to ensure attendance of teachers. Why didn’t every government school was provided biometric attendance?

“How does it help to take Selfie with the class? All these tantrums won’t resolve the bigger issue of strengthening results and quality of education.”

The school education minister’s announcement of uniform dress code, too, was severely violated. The obvious question arises here why the government is soft on teachers?

“The government teachers are service voters and constitute a major percentage. That’s why the government does not want to deal with them strictly,” another teacher said.

Minister Pandey, however, didn’t approve the claim, saying: “Teachers are very respectable and we don’t want to force them into anything. We want them to help us and also provide a solution for ensuring attendance.”

Chief minister TS Rawat while attending a convention of the association questioned on the poor results of government schools despite paying well to the teachers. He also hinted of closing down and merger of schools with less than 10 students.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 20:01 IST