Biometric attendance will be a must in all junior colleges from 2018

Prajakta Joshi
Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Laxmanrao Apte Junior College Principal Teresa David lauded the initiative, saying, “We have already applied for a biometric attendance machine even though our junior college has never had much problem with the attendance.

Colleges happy, parents and coaching classes unhappy.

Pune: State Education Minister Vinod Tawde recently announced in the Legislative Council that the biometric attendance system will be a must in all junior colleges from the academic year 2018-19 to check commercialisation of education.

He said, “The trend, these days, is to take admission at a college that has a tie-up with coaching classes and offer integrated programmes. These coaching classes, in turn charge lakhs of rupees of fees.”

Tawde said a list of junior colleges that offer such integrated programmes will be released soon. Those junior college students, who don’t attend classes, will not be allowed to take the HSC examinations.

Laxmanrao Apte Junior College Principal Teresa David lauded the initiative, saying, “We have already applied for a biometric attendance machine even though our junior college has never had much problem with the attendance.

However, there are many colleges that are facing this issue. I feel this decision will actually help such colleges. Students’ increasing dependence on coaching classes is decreasing the value of junior collages and even teachers, which is a sad situation.”

She said it is alright for students to attend coaching classes in order to excel in competitive exams. However, it is necessary that they regularly attend classes at their colleges. 

On condition of anonymity, a parent of a junior college student said, “Many times, parents prefer sending their children to coaching classes because many junior colleges do not have good teachers. I think attendance at junior colleges should not be made compulsory because of these reasons.”

Girija Shankar, Principal, Ness Wadia College of Commerce, said, “We installed the biometric attendance system for the junior college as well as our foreign students from last year. It has been proved very helpful as not only has it significantly increased the attendance among students of Std XI and XII, but it has helped us keep track of our foreign students,” Shankar said.

Vaibhav Bakliwal, Director, Bakliwal Tutorials, one of the popular IIT coaching centres in the city, said before taking such a decision, the government should check the quality of education in junior colleges.

“Many students give more importance to coaching classes only because they learn better there. This kind of rule will only disrupt the whole system and lead to bad results in boards and competitive exams,” said Bakliwal.

He pointed out that while many students from the CBSE and the ICSE schools shift to the state board during junior colleges, they would stop doing that if attendance is made compulsory, which might again lead to a dip in results.

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