CCTV, biometrics in this Indian school to nab truant students

Experiment has paid off with attendance doubling and parents heaving a sigh of relief

  • Teacher with biometric school in the school Image Credit: Supplied

  • Umesh Kumar, headmaster of the government middle school, Pulawaghat in East Chamaparan district, some 150 km Image Credit: Supplied

Patna: Facial recognition may be in thing on your smart phone right now, but a teacher in Bihar has got smart too. Bad news for his truant students though. He has installed biometric machines and CCTV’s to catch them.

Umesh Kumar, headmaster of  the government middle school, Pulawaghat in East Chamaparan district, some 150 km from Patna, paid for the equipment with his own money. Villagers also contributed towards the equipment and are thrilled to see its success.

A total of 625 children from poor families were enrolled in the school, but a majority of them were skipping class. But not anymore. “Can there be more satisfaction for me than this? Children who had been avoiding classes are now attending school regularly,” Kumar said. “It will be a boon if this is implemented in other schools too.”

Earlier barely about 200 children would attend school, but now that number has doubled. Kumar’s goal is 100 per cent attendance. Bihar education minister Krishnandan Prasad Verma called up the district education officer after hearing about this experiment. “The minister was very pleased and asked me to convey his thanks to the teacher. The minister said the initiative will inspire other teachers,” district education officer Iftekhar Ahmed said.

Earlier, the state government in Bihar had launched a unique initiate under which poor children were being offered a one rupee coin a day to encourage them to attend school every day. The initiative was launched in 2009 when Jitan Ram Manjhi served as tribal welfare minister before being promoted as the chief minister of Bihar in 2014.


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