eSSL Biometric Secuwatch

September 13, 2007

40,000 Schools fingerprint system project – India

“40,000 Schools fingerprint system pilot project (eSSL) inauguration by Hon. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi”

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The Gujarat state government has initiated a pilot project to ensure full enrolment of all eligible students and to reduce dropout rate in primary schools.

The pilot project covers 680 primary schools, 70 Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs) and 4 Block Resources Centres (BRCs) in Narmada district, one of the most backward districts of Gujarat having predominant tribal population and low literacy. It will cover around 2,508 teachers and 76,000 students.

The pilots being implemented by Bangalore based enterprise Software Solutions Lab (ESSL).

In 2003, Gujarat Government had launched “Shala Praveshotsav” (Enrolment Drive) and “Kanya Kelavani Rath” (Girl Child Education Campaign), which has been very successful and is achieving full enrolment of all the eligible students.

However, while the extent of coverage of primary education in the state has been satisfactory, the high rate of dropout is a matter of serious concern.

Having achieved the successful enrolment, the challenge facing the Government is to improve retention and reduce the dropout.

It was discovered that apart from socio-economic reasons, absenteeism of teachers, particularly in tribal areas and remote villages is one of the most important reasons for high dropout rates,

“ All noble initiatives of the State Government lose effectiveness and seriousness, when teachers remain absent without due permission, for a long period. It was, therefore, urgently needed to have a strong and reliable mechanism to monitor attendance of teachers and students,” said a senior official.

A standalone fingerprint biometric machine with external uninterrupted power supply up to 12 hours will be installed in each primary school for recoding attendance of teachers as well as students. At the end of the month, the attendance data is transported to the taluka (Block) HQ in a portable memory device like a pen drive. This attendance data is processed with the help of a software application for getting pay rolls of teachers and other various reports.

The pilot project has great scope of further expansion depending upon its success in Narmada district. The pilot model of biometric attendance system is most likely to be replicated in all other districts of Gujarat if it is tested successfully in district like Narmada.

The expanded project is expected to cover around 40,000 schools, which are to be covered, in a phased manner, in the coming 2-3 years. 

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