We truly live in a world driven by selfies and WhatsApp. From curbing the use of phones in schools, to making it a part of school teachers’ workflow, we’ve come a long way. According to a report on ToI, education authorities in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand have devised an innovative way to curb absenteeism – not just with students, but also teachers.
The decision is an attempt to control absenteeism among teachers in government schools. Educators in the region have created WhatsApp groups that include teachers as well as educational authorities. Once in class, teachers need to click a selfie with the students, as proof of attendance, and share it on WhatsApp groups that also include district educational authorities.
The report also adds that an app called Ujwal Seva Uttarakhand is currently being developed in this regard. Although it was announced last year, the project hasn’t taken off just yet. It is reported that Kumaon commissioner Rajiv Rautela, issued orders on Saturday that government school teachers must post selfies with their students in the WhatsApp groups that would include officials as well.
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As absurd as the solution appears, given that teachers are bunking school in this case, it does appear to be an innovative and practical solution. Nonetheless, given the fact that the schools are in remote regions of the hilly state of Uttarakhand, a teacher’s concern quoted in the report does hold true. The lack of effective telecom infrastructure and reliable data networks could be a barrier in uploading selfies to the WhatsApp groups. Currently this would be a concern to teachers in the area, especially if authorities wouldn’t regard their attendance for days they aren’t able to upload selfies, even if due to poor connectivity.