Syndicate content

Add new comment

If it's OK, I'll side-step the issue of fingerprinting here and point to another (less intimate) use of technology that has shown some promise in combatting challenges related to teacher absenteeism -- namely that of the digital camera. J-PAL, the Poverty Action Lab at MIT, conducted a randomized 'experiment' from 200-2006 in Rajasthan, working with a local NGO, Seva Mandir, to investigate the impact of various incentives on teacher attendance. To quote from the J-PAL web site, "In order to monitor teacher attendance, Seva Mandir gave each teacher a camera, along with instructions to have one student take a picture of the teacher and the class at the start and close of each school day. The camera's timestamp feature allowed Seva Mandir to determine when and for how long the teacher was at school. This technological monitoring was a relatively cost-effective method to monitor teacher attendance, since visits by monitors were reduced from daily to once every three weeks." You can read highlights from the study, or the study itself, through: This example has inspired people to propose similar monitoring schemes in other places; in 2010, there is specific interest in a few places exploring the use of the cameras built into low-end mobile phones in place of the stand-alone digital cameras utilized in the J-PAL study.