India Turns to Selfies to Keep School Attendance in Check

© AFP 2022 / INDRANIL MUKHERJEEIn this photograph taken on June 16, 2015, Indian students click a selfie at a designated 'selfie point' in Mumbai
In this photograph taken on June 16, 2015, Indian students click a selfie at a designated 'selfie point' in Mumbai - Sputnik International
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One of India’s industrially advanced states has decided on a novel use of technology to check dropout rates and prevent teachers from skipping classes.

Smartphone applications - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik) – The Indian state of Maharashtra has ordered state-owned school teachers to click a selfie with students in groups of 10 on the first two Mondays of every month. This novel use of technology will ensure students and teachers regularly attend schools in remote and far flung areas where inspections cannot be conducted regularly.

Under the scheme, to be launched in January, the teachers will have to inform the education department about students who have been missing classes. The government will decide on measure to bring them back to school.

The state of Maharashtra scores higher than the national average in literacy. It also has fewer dropouts than the national average. However, the ambitious state government is aiming to better the current dropout rate of nine per cent through this initiative.

Improving the literacy rate in India has been an uphill task for many successive governments since independence. Around 26% of India is still illiterate, as per the Census 2011. As the challenge is proving difficult to crack, educationists in other states will be keenly watching the outcome of this innovative solution.

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