Government schools in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district have asked teachers to send selfies in front of their class to mark their attendance.
The district education officials have been asked to post the photographs on the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) webpage to mark their attendance prior to 8 am.
Those teachers who don't upload their selfie by the stipulated time will lose a day's salary.
This mechanism was introduced in May, just before all schools closed for summer holidays, and since its implementation around 700 teachers have lost one day's salary so far.
In a statement, a senior official stated that the main aim of this system is to help eradicate the 'ghost teacher' racket. It has been practiced in Uttar Pradesh under which teacher 'sub-let' their jobe to under or un-qualified people who not only mark their attendance but also teach students. This was being pulled off with the assistance of Principals of the schools who also allegedly got a share of the money.
Another official said, “If the system works, we may implement it in other districts too. The Chief Minister has firmly stated that the education system must improve and more than the students, we need to improve the teaching standards."
Teachers who are found surfing through social media sites or playing games on their phones during school hours will also face pay cuts.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari V.P. Singh said, that the whole process of receiving and verifying selfies is being strictly implemented on directions of the Chief Minister and basic Education Minister. Teachers have been specifically told if they do not post their selfies by 8 a.m., they would lose their day’s pay.
A female teacher of a primary school in Ram Nagar in Barabanki district said that there are traffic jams, unavailability of public transport in rural areas and poor Internet connectivity which may cause delays in posting selfies. I lost a day’s salary because my tempo got stuck in a jam at the railway crossing. She also expressed that most teachers feel that this new rule is unfair and so does she.