Biometric attendance at Tamil Nadu schools soon

The move follows complaints over teachers and students regularly bunking their classes

Published: 25th March 2017 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2017 11:31 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Attendance registers for teachers and students in schools will soon be a thing of the past in Tamil Nadu with the State sanctioning Rs 45 crores to setup Bio-metric Attendance System (BAS) and an independent module in schools.

A pilot project launched in Perambalur district is likely to be expanded to the remaining 31 districts soon.
The Department of School Education, Tamil Nadu received repeated complaints that teachers and students, particularly those in rural schools, bunked classes and marked proxy attendance.

To end this, a proposal to setup BAS by the department was on the cards for a long time. This is finally taking shape with the government passing an order on March 13 sanctioning Rs 45.57 crores for the project. The Tamil Nadu Text Book and Educational Services Corporation (TBESC), a society funded by the State exchequer took up a feasibility study last August and came up with ten recommendations.

One among them is an Aadhaar-card linked BAS for teachers based on a software prepared by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The last eight digits of the teachers’ multi-purpose national identity cards will serve as the unique ID.

The corporation however refrained from employing a similar system to track students’ attendance. “Give a tablet or a desktop computer to every school with a specialised software installed in it so that 90 per cent students can enter their attendance even before the regular classes commenced,” read the recommendation bulletin submitted to the school education department. The bulletin also suggested that two teachers can be roped in on a rotational basis to collect attendance status of students who missed out the opportunity to mark their presence in the mornings.

On an average it takes 7-8 seconds for teachers to record their attendance in BAS and students can complete the task in 5-13 seconds. However, the Perambalur district administration,  opposed the idea of linking Aadhaar with BAS as it required high-speed Internet, high-end systems and recommended an independent attendance module, similar to the one to be used for students.

At present, a trial version of this system was available at select high and higher secondary schools in Perambalur. With the recent government order, TBESC has been given the task of organising a technology demonstrator meeting in the first place and implement the project in two phases in Perambalur at an estimated cost of `five lakh.  “On successful completion, this will be extended to other schools in remaining districts at a cost of `45.57 crore,” a top official of the department told Express.

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