[photopress:060915_fingerprint_reader.jpg,full,alignright]Meiya College of International Studies at Hunan University, a college in Hunan Province. has introduced fingerprint scanners in a bid to discourage students from playing truant.
The college spent RMB250,000 ($32,370) to have the machines installed in each of its 30-plus classrooms. Students are now required to ‘check in’ to each class by pressing their thumbs against the scanner. The machines are connected to a central computer and information on who is and is not present in each class is then relayed back to the teachers.
In the future, the information will also be sent to parents.
The college said that the equipment provides an effective way of measuring attendance, which has risen to 95% since its introduction.
Not all students are happy with the new system.
Gu Yifan, a first-year, said she would never skip class, regardless of whether there was a machine or not.
‘We are adults. Is it really necessary to control us in this way?’ she said. ‘It is also a lot of bother to have to provide our fingerprints several times a day.’