SA biometric plans to check on teacher presence

Around 24,000 public schools could be set to install a biometric clocking-in system which will monitor when a teacher arrives at and leaves work.

The R480 million (US$54 million) project would mean staff fingerprints would be scanned, with the data sent to other systems such as the public service salary system.

According to Afrikaans newspaper Beeld, money could be deducted from teachers’ salaries if they were not working the appropriate hours.

Panyaza Lesufi, spokesperson for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, said: “We’ve had incidents where teachers have signed in on behalf of others or don’t show up for work, then say they forgot to sign. Furthermore, sending the old register from the school to the department’s offices is a hassle.”

The project has been criticised by the SA Teachers’ Union who believe staff under-attendance is a “symptom of a diseased education system” and say the government should focus on the causes.

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