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6 Sep, 2022

The Need for Biometric Identification in the Education Sector

When we think about schools, colleges, and universities, one of the main things that come to our mind is attendance. Attendance is an important part of an educational institution’s daily routine; no student is exempt from it. When a student’s attendance is marked, along with indicating his presence for classes, it also means that the student is safely inside the school or college building. Authorities usually issue ID cards to account for their students and identify them in case of emergencies. However, with biometric identification, schools and colleges can do away with the tedious process of issuing IDs.

If you’re new to learning about the role of biometric identification in the education sector, you can click here to check out important industry parameters like infrastructural requirements, various types of biometric identification methods, features of the biometric attendance system, etc.

You must have observed that educational institutions today are quite open to adopting more and more technologies to help make their tasks and operations efficient and easier for the students as well as the staff. Biometric technology is one such example that has proven to be quite helpful in access control, biometric identification, student tracking, and much more. So, why do we use biometric identification? To improve the academic domain’s teaching/learning processes while technology takes care of security and safety.

Biometric Identification: Pros and Cons

Biometric technology is mainly used in schools in identity management systems, class attendance, e-evaluations, security, and learning analytics. With a variety of applications, there are bound to be a lot of advantages to using biometric identification in educational institutions.

Advantages of Biometric Identification

Accurate attendance – Biometric identification methods don’t allow for proxy attendance, thereby, giving teachers an accurate idea of the students present in the class. This also promotes sincerity and discipline among students as they cannot fool the biometric identification device and have to be physically present in order to make their attendance count.

Safety of students – This is probably a very natural advantage of using biometric identification for students. The staff can be sure of students being inside the school/college as biometric verification doesn’t allow any room for false attendance marking. More than that, employing biometric identification for visitors can ensure that only familiar visitors get access to the students.

Efficient operations – Biometric data streamline many administrative processes that go on in a student’s life cycle. These processes consume a lot of time of the faculty which is why biometric identification can help enforce quick and easy access control.

Exam hall verification – Common malpractices during exams are using fake ID cards and impersonating students. Biometric identification and verification at the entrance of the exam hall can prevent such misconduct and uphold the credibility of examinations.

Problems with Biometric Identification

Costs – Implementing biometric attendance systems requires significant investments. Setting up such advanced technology and learning how to operate the systems can be tedious and requires a lot of dedication.

Infrastructure – Biometric identification requires biometric readers and smart software. There should be suitable infrastructure for installing biometric readers at entrance points and outside classrooms.

It cannot be denied that biometric technology is a breakthrough in terms of security. Adopting new technologies can seem comparatively expensive but it is better in the long run. Similarly, learning new methods can seem cumbersome at first, but they facilitate convenience in a much better way than already existing conventional methods.

Important FAQs About Biometric Identification and Verification Systems

What is biometric identification?

Well, it validates an individual’s identity with the help of his/her unique biological features, like fingerprints, facial features, the iris, and even the voice.

What is a biometric identification system?

It is an advanced technology consisting of readers and software that use biometric characteristics like the thumb impression, fingerprint, face, etc. to authenticate the identity of the individual.

How does biometric identification work?

The biometric readers will scan the biometrics and identify a student or staff and inform the linked software to mark the particular individual as ‘present’.

Which fingers are used for biometric identification?

Any of the 10 fingers can be used for biometric identification. Commonly, the thumb and the index finger are preferred.

Biometric Finger identification

What is an example of biometric identification?

A very common example of biometric identification in our daily lives is unlocking our smartphones with either our fingerprint or face.

Biometric Identification

What is the difference between identification and verification?

Identification is identifying an individual from a given list or group of people. It compares your identity with several identities in the given list and picks out the match.

Verification is matching the individual with their own data from a data bank. It only searches the database for your specific identity as you have presented it.

Facial Recognition in Schools

There have been many debates about whether it is appropriate to use face biometrics for personal identification in schools. Some say that this technology can be introduced in colleges or at the university level, but till higher secondary levels, biometric identification should only be limited to fingerprints.

Many experts and sociologists believe that facial recognition is sensitive biometric information, and it is invasive, allowing anyone with access to the system to watch student movements. Experts say that while using biometric identification to facilitate attendance is fine, this practice should not normalize surveillance.

Facial Recognition in Schools

The Technology Shift in Education

Security in educational institutions has become more important than ever. The Government of India has also acknowledged the need for implementing a biometric attendance system at schools and colleges to curb the habit of skipping lessons and make India’s educational institutions more tech-savvy. Keeping this in mind, biometric identification for students is a great way of facilitating convenience and securing the premises.

Biometric technology can be used in many ways in schools, not just for attendance and identification. Click here to check out our blog on how biometrics can be leveraged in the education sector.


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