From Ahmad Mohammed, Bauchi
Bauchi State Government has introduced handheld fingerprint device to check and clock workers in and out of their duty posts which subsequently would qualify them for being paid monthly.
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Aliyu Usman Tilde told reporters yesterday in Bauchi that the device was introduced by the ministry to put the menace of ghost workers, absenteeism and indolence under check.
Tilde said that before his appointment as the commissioner, about 53.5 per cent of workers were deep in attitude of shunning their duty post which has thwarted the state’s education sector backward.
He said: “We now have the device in all the 219 secondary schools under the ministry. We have had a case of a teacher who only attended his school seven times in eleven years and when I came in I requested for attendance register of various schools and the statistics there was not encouraging at all, 53.5 per cent of them (teachers) do not go their work place at all.
“People are now less honest than before and given their large number, many of them can hide, a lot of them are in the rural areas where it is difficult to reach them for monitoring and evaluation. You find out that by the time you take up their attendance book everyone is present and resumed work before 8:am even if he or she wasn’t there.
“It is very difficult to monitor these large number of workers, the best thing is to introduce technology. With this you will be able to capture all the teachers within your purview; if anyone goes in, delivers a lesson or checks out it will be clocked by the terminal. With this, I have been able to monitor in my office when my teachers resume, deliver lesson and goes out of school.”
Tilde said there would be cut off mark for attendance and any worker below the mark would not receive alert for the month. “We are going to put a benchmark that will show that you were there. You go to work 23 days in a month, we may put minimum of 17,18 or 19 days in a month and anything short of that, the person won’t be paid.”
He added that, for genuine case of absent from work which must be reported in accordance with the rules, a teacher may be sick for a year and be paid all through.
The Commissioner further explained that, with the introduction of the device every teacher have been resuming work before 8:am “and I think as far as secondary school in Nigeria is concern we are the first to deploy such device.”
Tilde said the development was applauded by the workers union, saying the body had welcomed the idea in their disagreement to indolence. He added that he could monitor the number of lessons that every teacher teaches in a week, month and in a year through the data gathered by the device.
He said that their performance is being recorded by the device ad that would be qualify them for promotion and appointment. “This will be first index, though there might challenge in this but this will be first measure because if you don’t go to work how can you perform? The first thing is, was the teacher there in his duty post, how many lessons was he able to cover.”