LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh government has rolled out a facial recognition-based teacher and student attendance monitoring system for public schools in the state. The artificial intelligence-based attendance monitoring system, already launched in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV), a chain of residential schools meant for girls belonging to impoverished backgrounds, is to tackle the issue of proxy teachers and ghost students.
The face recognition technology (FRT), said director general, school education, Vijay Kiran Anand, will have twofold purpose. “First, it will help us encourage those teachers whose classroom transactions have emerged as game-changers in delivering quality education. Second, FRT will sort out a major issue of proxy teachers, de-duplication of students, and give us the headcount,” Anand told TOI.
The technology is currently operational in Gujarat. Earlier, the UP education department had launched a ‘selfie’ scheme to mark the attendance of staff and pay them their salaries. “Selfies were uploaded from outside the school premises and there was no way we could track their location. The advanced Prerna app will only mark attendance of students and teachers only if they are in the school range,” said an official.
For FRT, users will have to register with their 10-digit mobile number (usually the number of wardens in case of KGBV) and generate a PIN. Using this PIN, KGBV wardens will use cameras to click photographs of the school premises and capture the faces of teachers and other staff.
With a massive six lakh teachers and 1.92 crore students enrolled in state-run schools from class 1 to 8, UP faces several challenges in monitoring their presence. Close to 80,000 students are enrolled in 746 KGBVS in the state. The upgraded Prerna app is presently installed in 702 KGBVs.
From teacher absenteeism to proxy teachers, and exaggeration of students attending classes, the problems in UP schools are plenty.

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