Saudi Arabia is looking to install biometric attendance systems in its education system, according to an Arab News article. The country’s Ministry of Education is currently drafting its specification handbook, and will invite companies to bid on the project as soon as it’s ready.
According to the article, the project will unfold in stages, starting with the ministry’s headquarters and expanding to encompass the headquarters of its 45 education departments, and eventually all schools in the country. It’s expected to be completed within 21 months.
The project apparently comes in the wake of a spate of announcements from school principals stating that they have implemented surveillance cameras in their schools. But it’s also part and parcel of the Saudi government’s early-adopter approach to biometric technology; the kingdom has been pushing a massive national program to register the fingerprints of all citizens and expatriates, and has also introduced controversial biometric screening measures for Umrah pilgrims. It’s a wealthy country, and while its leadership consists mostly of an older demographic, it has certainly proven keen to keep up with the technological trailblazing of other early adopter states like India.
February 18, 2015 – by Alex Perala