The Minister for Education in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has asserted that a biometric system is going to be deployed in all schools in the state. Details such as modalities used are not yet clear, but Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao suggested that it would take the form of a time and attendance tracking system, for use both on students and faculty alike.
The idea of such a system being implemented shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given how eagerly the Indian government as a whole has embraced biometric technology. In the state’s ambitious Aadhaar program, it’s now being used for a range of purposes, from tracking the work attendance of government employees to administering healthcare. And in at least one particular school district in India, a biometric time and attendance tracking system is already being implemented.
In terms of the educational context more specifically, that is a rising trend around the world. Earlier this year the Saudi Arabian government announced that it would be looking into setting up a similar system for its schools on a national level, while in the US biometric systems have been installed in schools on an ad hoc basis for applications ranging from school security (via facial recognition) and the administration of cafeteria lunches. It’s also in the US that we’ve seen, recently, a situation in which public protest has helped to cancel the implementation of a biometric system in a public school, but it doesn’t look like that particular case is going to slow the overall trend in that country or around the world.
Source: The Hindu
July 17, by Alex Perala