City Govt Schools to get Biometric Attendance from June
• All government-run schools in Kamrup (M) are set to get biometric attendance machines to mark teachers’ attendance
• Under this, a few districts will be covered as a pilot project including Kamrup (M) and Goalpara
• Biometric system helps maintain a digital database of attendance for the employees by recording the fingerprints
• Thus building a transparent system of teachers’ attendance in Assam
• Teacher absenteeism remains an issue resulting in poor standard of education in government schools
• The machines will record the entry as well as exit timings of each teacher
• It will therefore ensure that the teachers are present to record their attendance
Schools in Kamrup (Metro) district will install biometric system of attendance next month onwards in order to check teacher absenteeism.
Officials informed G Plus that this move of the state education department is aimed at fixing accountability of teachers’ leaves. They said that the installation of biometric machines has already begun in phases.
“A few districts will be covered in the beginning as a pilot project including Kamrup (Metro) and Goalpara. We are hoping that the process would be complete in the district by next month,” informed District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), Buli Gogoi Bhuyan.
The biometric system helps in creating a digital database of attendance of the employees by recording their fingerprints. This will help in building a transparent system of teachers’ attendance in Assam where teacher absenteeism remains a pertinent problem resulting in poor standard of education in government schools.
According to officials, these biometric systems will be set up in different phases across the state. The former education minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, had announced this while distributing appointment letters to post graduate teachers in November.
He had said that the biometric machines will record the entry as well as exit timing of each teacher and will therefore ensure that the teachers are present to record their attendance every day. He added that this step has been taken to reduce the instances of teachers bunking their classes. Sarma had further added that teachers working in government run schools must not be involved in other professions and should focus on their teaching responsibilities.
Officials receive complaints of irregular teachers
The district education officials informed G Plus that they often receive complaints against some teachers who come late to the schools. Further, some of them repeatedly use school timings to do their personal works.
However, officials are hopeful that with the new biometric system of attendance in place, the accountability of teachers will increase and it would result in increased regularity of teachers.
In the recent past, the Kamrup (Metro) district education officials have served show-cause notices to at least five teachers during the past one month for being irregular, informed officials.
Bhuyan said that they have increased their efforts to continuously keep a check on absentee teachers, especially those who are repeat offenders.
“It is the students who ultimately suffer from the absenteeism of teachers and the quality of education in such schools gets affected,” said Bhuyan, adding that the authorities conduct regular checks in different schools across the district and irregular teachers are given a warning first.
Officials said that there are a few authorized leaves which the teachers can avail after which their salary is deducted as per the number of holidays taken.
“If the teachers still continue to remain absent, we then issue show-cause notices to them following which they are ultimately suspended,” said Bhuyan.
The state education department has of late been laying a lot of emphasis on providing quality education to all children, especially in government schools. This includes providing additional support for differently abled students. Officials informed that there are a total of 916 differently abled students between the ages of 6 and 14 in the district for whom the department will hold continuous medical assessment via camps throughout this year.
Further, in order to emphasise on inclusive education, teachers’ training on “curriculum adaptation” was conducted in March this year.
Authorities informed that in the coming months, government schools will see an increased focus on supporting differently abled children, building the capacity of teachers by conducting training sessions throughout the year and improving the quality of education by reflecting on Gunotsav’s result.
Further, while revealing the results of the third and final phase of Gunotsav in February this year, officials emphasised that while the overall grades of schools had become better in the third phase, Gunotsav also brought to everyone’s attention the lack of basic amenities in government schools.
The data revealed that close to 70% primary schools in the state do not have access to electricity.
“After conducting three phases of Gunotsav, it was revealed that out of 48,963 schools which took part in the initiative, 34,162 schools lack electricity,” informed Sarma.
Experts maintain that the initiative has been instrumental in bringing out the gaps in schools and elementary education.
As per official figures, the student drop-out rate had declined in 2017 with 78,000 students dropping out of schools as compared to 1.6 lakhs from the previous year. Also, a total of 28,000 students took admission this year.