Pune: Deputy Mayor Siddharth Dhende has issued instructions to civic officials to carry out biometric attendance of students at PMC-run schools. Dhende also raised doubts about the projected number of students in civic schools.
Dhende took a review of functioning of Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) School Board on Thursday. He said, “There is a 20 per cent difference in students present in schools and the total number of students enrolled in PMC schools. Last year, the PMC had claimed that there were 93,000 students in civic schools, but in reality, only 76,400 students were present. Hence, we have demanded starting a biometric attendance system for school students. The PMC has already set up this system for their employees. I don’t think there should be any problem of starting it at the beginning of the academic year.”
He further said, “Last year, the corporation spent around Rs 16 crore on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to students’ accounts to purchase school items. This year, they are going to transfer the amount to students’ accounts. To avoid misuse of funds, the corporation should transfer the money on joint accounts of students and teachers.”
Shivaji Daundkar, Administrator of PMC’s School Board, said, “We are going to start biometric attendance from this year.”
As per State government directives, the PMC had implemented (DBT last year to alleviate middle-men and corruption and ensuring timely delivery of school items. It had given electronic DBT cards - similar to ATM cards - to parents for a period of five years and special swipe machines were installed at selected distributors or shopkeepers who were asked to stock school supplies, where parents can swipe the card and pay for their purchases.