Fingerprint attendance system opposed by Kuwait schools & officials

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: Just hours before the Ministry of Education’s scheduled implementation of the fingerprint attendance system in schools, reactions rejecting this move have intensified, with increasing demands to abandon it, reports Al-Qabas daily. Officials in several schools have voiced concerns, describing the decision to implement the fingerprint system as ill-considered and disruptive to the educational process.

They argue that verifying the attendance of educational staff does not necessitate such a system, as teachers are already obliged to fulfill their teaching duties according to their assigned schedules. These officials emphasize that the fingerprint system adversely impacts the educational process, introducing unnecessary bureaucracy and undermining the flexibility and trust inherent in the educational environment.

They highlight previous efforts by the Ministry of Education to seek an exemption from fingerprinting for the educational body until clear organizational structures are in place, stressing the unique nature of teachers’ work compared to other employees. In parliamentary interactions, several members of the National Assembly have expressed their opposition to the implementation of the fingerprint system in schools. They urge the Ministry of Education to reconsider this decision, emphasizing the crucial role of teachers in shaping future generations and advocating for their recognition and status. MP Badr Sayyar Al-Shammari criticized the rushed approval of the fingerprint system, warning of its potential negative impacts on the educational process and administrative confusion.

Representative Falah Dhahi Al-Hajri echoed the same sentiments, highlighting the challenges faced by teachers in Kuwait’s educational environment and questioning the necessity of the fingerprint system. The Ministry of Education’s circular, issued by Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education, Hessa Al-Mutawa, calls for the implementation of fingerprint devices in schools starting February 11, 2024. The circular emphasizes the importance of facilitating information management systems and proving attendance through fingerprints, as well as the transfer of data between schools and the ministry.

Despite the ministry’s efforts to proceed with the implementation, educational sources confirm ongoing technical preparations, including fingerprint registration and device testing. However, questions remain regarding the justification for reintroducing the fingerprint system and concerns persist regarding its potential legal and administrative consequences as voiced by the Teachers Association. According to school officials — teachers’ attendance does not require a fingerprint.. and its application confuses the educational process; the nature of the work of “mind builders” is different from that of employees “in offices” and every teacher is obligated to attend and teach in the classroom according to the schedule

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