The face recognition app introduced by the School Education Department for teachers to upload their attendance details continues to a bone of contention between the officials and some teachers’ associations.
The school education authorities say that the resistance among teachers is on the wane and cite the increase in the number of users of the app.
“The system of recording attendance through the face recognition app has stabilised. After introducing this app, we have realised that many teachers, especially those from the SC, ST, BC Societies and contract teachers were not in our database. There were many duplicate entries too,” says School Education Commissioner S. Suresh Kumar, adding that the new app is helping the authorities clean up the database.
Mr. Suresh Kumar admits that such initiatives are difficult to implement, especially in the School Education department which has the highest number of employees.
Citing the attendance data recorded on September 24, he says 1.67 lakh teachers and around 7,000 non-teaching staff had marked their attendance using the app.
“Thanks to the new system, we have the realtime information on attendance of teachers, students and also crucial programmes such mid-day meal now,” he says, adding that this has been made possible by the support extended by Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“Around 1.67 lakh teachers and around 7,000 non-teaching staff marked their attendance using the app on September 24, 2022. ”S. Suresh KumarSchool Education Commissioner
It may be noted that the department’s decision to introduce the app, replacing the earlier Aadhar-enabled biometric attendance devices, sparked protests by teacher unions who dubbed the initiative as an attempt to keep tabs on their movements.
The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Organisations, an umbrella organisation of teacher unions in the State, has urged teachers to boycott the app. The SC, ST Teachers’ Association, in a letter addressed to the Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, has appealed to him to postpone the implementation of the new attendance system, while leaders of the Municipal Teachers’ Federation has found fault with the government decision to add yet another app in the already app-crowded schedules of teachers.
Leaders of Andhra Pradesh Teachers Federation (APTF), meanwhile, have taken a legal recourse seeking repeal of the new system and are hopeful that the court verdict would be in their favour.