Selfie taking
Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Pixabay

Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh: Frustrated by ‘ghost teachers’ in Uttar Pradesh, District education officials are using tech to keep an eye on schools.

Teachers in all government schools in the Barabanki district have been instructed to take selfies in front of their classrooms before 8am. They are to upload these photos on the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) webpage. Those who fail to provide proof of presence by this time are docked a day’s salary.

The system was implemented in May, before schools closed for summer vacations; more than 700 teachers have lost a day’s pay so far.

A senior official in the education department said that the system would help in smashing the racket of ghost teachers. In Uttar Pradesh, many teachers have been known to 'sub-let' their jobs to under-qualified people who not only mark their attendance but also teach their students. This is done in connivance with principals who enjoy kickbacks. "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," an official said.

Another rule that’s recently been employed restricts the use of social media by teachers during school hours.

Shiksha Adhikari V.P. Singh said: "The entire 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 am, they would lose their day's pay."

Educationists are taking umbrage at the new rules. "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," said one teacher of a primary school in Ram Nagar in Barabanki district.