Andhra Pradesh: 72.69% schools record attendance via facial recognition, teachers continue to oppose it

Many teachers reported that they were unable to mark their attendance on time because of network issues even though they were at school by 8 am
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

A total of 43,016 out of the total 59,175 schools in Andhra Pradesh started the face recognition attendance system on Tuesday, August 16.

Out of 1,79,026 government teachers, just 22,905 marked attendance under the system, though 91,538 teachers downloaded the mobile app. Attendance of 42,14,258 students was marked in the 43,016 schools. The attendance of 6,01,725 students was not marked under the system, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.

As a part of reforms in the Education system, the School Education department on Tuesday, August 16, launched a face recognition system to record the attendance of teachers, students as well as employees in the schools and other offices under the School Education Department through a mobile application.

Success or not?
If the teachers fail to mark their facial attendance before 9 am (for students, it is 10 am), they will be treated as absentees. According to the officials, it was a great success across the state and 72.69 per cent of schools marked their attendance successfully.

However, many teachers reported that they were unable to mark their attendance on time because of network issues even though they were at school by 8 am.

Many videos of teachers searching for network outside their schools and them questioning the new system went viral on social media.

Associations against it 
The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Teachers' Organisation (FAPTO) implored teachers to refrain from downloading the app.

The SC ST Teachers Association State President Samala Simhachalam penned a letter to Minister Botcha Satyanarayana to postpone the implementation of the app-based attendance.

AP Upadhyaya Sangam State President CH Sravan Kumar appealed to the state government to continue with the current biometric method for the attendance of teachers as well as the students.

MTF State President S Rama Krishna said they have to upload several details on about 13 apps, which has become a hurdle for the teachers.

Mannam Srinivas, State President of the Telugunadu Teachers Association, said the School Education Department should follow the attendance system in other departments.

CH Padmavathi of the Nobel Teachers Association, said that they did not participate in the prayer programme in the school in the morning due to the unsuccessful marking of facial attendance. She alleged that the student's attendance app was not working properly.

Let's meet and talk
With protests of teachers against the new system mounting, the department held a meeting with the Teachers' associations on Tuesday, August 16, under the auspices of the Commissioner.

Later, addressing the media, FAPTO State General Secretary Chennupati Manjula said that their discussions with CSE failed as he directed the teachers to implement the policy of the government without fail.

CSE S Suresh Kumar was not available for comment.

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