Teachers in all government schools in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district have been asked to send their selfies in front of their classrooms to mark their attendance.
District education officials have instructed teachers to post the photographs on the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) webpage to mark their attendance before 8.a.m. Teachers, who fail to upload their selfie by the stipulated time, will lose one day's salary.
The system was implemented in May, before schools closed for summer vacations, and over 700 teachers have lost one day's salary so far.
A senior official in the education department said that the system would help in smashing the racket of ghost teachers. It has been a practice in Uttar Pradesh under which teachers 'sub-let' their jobs to under-qualified persons who not only mark their attendance but also teach students. This is done in connivance with principals who also get a share of the money.
"If the system works, we may implement it in other districts too. The Chief Minister has firmly stated that the education system must improve and more than the students, we need to improve the teaching standards," an official said.
Moreover, teachers found surfing social media sites during school hours will also face pay cuts.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari VP Singh said: "The entire process of receiving and verifying selfies is being strictly implemented on directions of the Chief Minister and basic Education Minister. Teachers have been specifically told if they do not post their selfies by 8 a.m., they would lose their day's pay."
Teachers, however, term the new rule as 'unfair'.
"There are traffic jams, unavailability of public transport in rural areas and poor Internet connectivity which may cause delays in posting selfies. I lost a day's salary because my tempo got stuck in a jam at the railway crossing," said a woman teacher of a primary school in Ram Nagar in Barabanki district.