In order to bring transparency in education, Uttar Pradesh district Chandauli has launched "attendance-with-selfie" drive in the first week of February to know whether the teachers are present or not. Making the best use of technology at workplace, the drive motivates teachers to take selfies with students once they reach their respective classrooms.

Conditions of taking a selfie:

Teachers were told to take selfie with the students, along with a newspaper of that specific date. After taking the selfie, they were instructed to share it on the WhatsApp group called 'attendance with selfie'.

In an interview with HT, District Magistrate Kumar Prashant said, "Attendance with a selfie has resulted in tremendous improvement in attendance at primary and junior schools across Naugarh block."

From where did this start?

People in the village were not happy with the teachers in the government school and the district magistrate was informed about the same.

Swiftly acting upon the situation, Prashant invited a social activist Navin Krishna Rai to conduct a survey of primary schools in the Naugarh block. "Many teachers were causal about attending schools in remote areas. Some teachers posted in far-flung parts did not bother to take classes. The survey brought forth the stark reality of teachers' attendance," Rai said.

Subsequently, Rai came to a conclusion, pushing the use of technology for better governance.

How is this Whatsapp group functioning?

To facilitate this idea, first, a Whatsapp group was created called 'Attendance with a Selfie'. All the teachers in the district block were added. The name of the group supervisor was Santosh Kumar Singh, District Education Officer, while the moniters were the Naugarh education officer and a nyaya panchayat resource centre (NPRC) official.

"There has been a lot of improvement in the attendance of teachers after the drive," Singh said.

Are the teachers happy?

"This is a very good initiative. We take selfie with students and the newspaper and post it on the group. Children, too, rush to be part of the selfie," said Bhola Pal, a teacher at Dumariya primary school.The project will soon expand to other primary and upper primary schools in the the district by month-end.