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Saudi school goes biometric to curb student bunking
Friday November 28, 2014 10:50 PM, IANS

In a novel step to monitor students' attendance, a school in Saudi Arabia has introduced fingerprinting system, also enabling parents to be updated about their children's arrival and departure time via a cellphone message.

With this, Mohammad Al Fateh Middle School in Makkah province's Taef city has turned the first school in the kingdom to adopt to biometric system to check students' attendence. There are 400 students in the school, the Gulf News reported.

"We decided to use modern technology to check and follow the commitment of our students to school attendance," the management said, adding that they had taken due permission of educational authorities.

Students in each of the classes in the school will have access to three machines to have their fingerprints scanned.

The school is also set to install 24 cameras to monitor students' movements and act promptly in case of misbehaviour or troublesome situations, the management said.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been pushing for measures to curb rising levels of absenteeism and tardiness among students, especially in middle and high schools, after they reached alarming levels.

In October last year, Kuwait decided to use class attendance to determine students' grades.

Under the decision, students who do not present valid excuses for being absent or skipping classes are punished with effect on their grades.

The decision was undertaken, following reports indicating that students tend to prolong their holidays by not showing up for classes just before or after their off days.

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