The Odisha Government’s plan to introduce the Biometric Attendance System in universities and colleges to ensure proper attendance of faculty and staff has run into opposition from a section of teachers.
While the move has been welcomed in general, some sections have termed it a futile exercise that wouldn’t help improve educational standards. The machines have already been installed in some colleges, they are yet to be fully functional.
As part of the efforts to fix accountability in higher education, the Government had planned to bring in the system to keep track of the presence of teachers and faculty on campuses. The move comes in the face of increasing complaints of absence of teachers and non-teaching staff during college or university duty hours.
“Unauthorised absence of teachers was affecting university and college education. The intention is to make sure the teachers and staff are present at their institutions during college hours. The fixing of accountability will improve quality of education”, Higher Education Minister Ananta Das said.
However, the opponents argued that this move implied that the Government is viewing the whole teacher community with suspicion. “All teachers can’t be blamed for a few defaulters,” convenor of Federation of University Teachers’ Association Santosh Tripathy told media here, adding, “Focus should be on other areas too as Biometric attendance system alone cannot guarantee quality education.’
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