Pakistan: Ghost workers in Sindh

Over 25,000 ‘ghost’ teachers identified in Sindh Education department (Geo.TV)

Sources said that, during investigation carried out by AG Sindh office and Education Department, about 25,000 out of 155,000 recorded employees have been identified as ‘fake’ in the Sindh Education and Literacy Department.

They added that ghost employees were identified by the Deputy Accountant General Education, security and examination committee with the support of biometric system.

We haven’t posted on ghost workers lately, but a 16% fake employee rate is noteworthy.

India: Biometric verification required for student ID and attendance

Biometric attendance must for jr colleges (Pune Mirror)

“We have made biometric attendance mandatory for all junior colleges. This will also let us compare statistics of students opting for specific colleges and give us data about students admitted to that college under the centralised admission process. While this system will leave no room for bogus admission at any city college, it would also make students serious about attending their lectures. Their casual attitude regarding college will change,” said Ramchandra Jadhav, DyDE.

A large potion of that educational institutions must do revolves around identity management.

INDIA: Six people impersonated for 87 students on admittance tests (PaGaLGuY)

In a press conference held today at the NMIMS Mumbai campus, vice-chancellor Dr Rajan Saxena said that the school had filed an FIR about the impersonation on April 24, 2013. When asked if checks and balances could have been stronger during the NMAT stage itself to flag such impersonation he said, “In hindsight, it could have been but it is only because of the quality of the admission process that this has been detected.” Asked if the test would be made more secure next year he replied, “It would be difficult to say now. We will look at it.” Unlike the Common Admissions Test (CAT) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the NMAT does not employ biometric scanning measures such as fingerprint or palm-vein profiling, used to prevent impersonation, during the test check-in process. Despite arguably weaker security measures, the NMAT costs Rs 1,650, higher than the CAT which costs Rs 1,600.

More expensive and less exact is a tough value proposition for a testing service to maintain unless, you know, the target customer is one who will pay more for less exactitude. That doesn’t mean the universities have to go along with it, though.

Calling the roll with face rec

It doesn’t take a Ph.D.  to read the same list of people’s names over and over again. So why do we make them do it?

Facial-recognition use grows as accuracy rises, cost declines (China Daily)

Wei Xiaoyong, an associate professor at Sichuan University, used to worry about taking roll call for his class of 100 students.

“It is time-consuming. But students who attend classes every day say it is unfair if I do not do it.”

Wei eventually found the solution – a face recognition system.

With the system, all he has to do is to use an ordinary pocket camera to take a picture of the class. Wei then uploads the picture and the computer will automatically find out who showed up for class.

Wei has not noted a single absence since he started using the system.

Ghostbusting: Communication is key

SIERRA LEONE: Total Misinformation About Rumoured Deletion Of 7, 000 Teachers From Pay Vouchers (Cocorioko)

The Minister of Education, Dr. Minkailu Bah, was the first to challenge those figures, stating that they were too alarming and therefore subject to further verification by his ministry. The Minister therefore suggested that a Task Force, comprising the staff of the firm that carried out the registration; his ministry’s staff and representative from the Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU) should conduct a follow up re-verification exercise that should last for 90 days. He asked that Heads of Schools and Proprietors be sufficiently notified so that they too could notify all Teachers on their lists.

During this second phase of verification, Teachers who refuse or do not make themselves available to be properly verified would eventually be deleted from the government pay vouchers, the Minister cautioned.

The SLTU Representative was given a soft copy of this report. Somehow, these representatives from the SLTU decided to send a message to all Teachers around the country, particularly those whose names are on the list for re-verification (7,761), notifying them that they have been maintained as “Ghost Teachers” and therefore their names are going to be deleted from the government pay voucher.

Misinformation shenanigans can’t be ruled out but when people’s jobs are on the line, emotions can run hot. Good communication about the process can help a lot.

Biometrics as engines of cultural change

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Sierra Leone is adopting a new biometric system to reduce impersonation among test takers and also to help eliminate bureaucratic errors.

We’ve covered the return on investment (ROI) of biometric ID systems quite extensively and the decision makers at the WEAC obviously saw the ROI potential of adding a biometric check to the testing process. Something else we have talked about (and it’s one aspect of biometrics that is intensely interesting to development types) is the accountability biometric systems can help bring to organizations and the cultural changes better ID management allows for.

Sheriff Sapateh, Head of the WEAC National Office gets this part, too:

WAEC launches Biometric Registration system (Awoko h/t @Argus_Global)

The Head further noted that examination malpractice unlike HIV/AIDS has a cure, adding that in order to win the war against examination malpractice there must be a holistic effort by all stakeholders in the education sub-sector.

He said that to avert a total collapse of our education system, there is a need for an entrenchment of a culture of examination ethics which is the respect for the rules, regulations, expectations, codes of conduct and moral principles governing the conduct of assessment and evaluation system, not only in educational institutions but in all sectors of the economy.

Using better ID management techniques can help to develop and encourage a more ethical culture — one less hospitable to corruption. Managers who understand this and want to do something about it have an ally in biometric ID management systems.

International Day of the Girl

Today is the Day of the Girl, internationally recognized by the United Nations.

Map: What Countries Have the Worst Gender Gaps? 
Plus, a simple yet powerful solution to help close the gender gap. (

Here’s how our proposed solution works: Use biometric identification, such as digital finger prints or retina scans, to give girls a formal economic identity and make sure they are counted and served by new policies and programs. Then build on advances in electronic payments and mobile money, which allow automatic provision of financial services via a digital platform or mobile device. This helps make sure the girls—not corrupt government officials or pesky relatives, for example—receive aid money. Transfer dollars electronically through systems linked directly to savings accounts owned and operated by the girls. Finally, tap into behavioral economics, which shows that simple “nudges” can lead to savings habits, asset accumulation, and investments in education, health and enterprise.

As we’ve said before, you can’t be a fully functioning member of the modern world without a legitimate ID.

Ghana accidentally saves $93,000 per month with biometric system

900 ex-students still draw allowances (Ghana Web)

About 900 students of the School of Hygiene in Tamale, who completed their studies seven years ago, are still withdrawing allowances as students from the government’s payroll.

This is notwithstanding the fact that some of them have been employed.

Each student is said to be withdrawing GH¢200 a month and this has cost the nation GH¢15,120,004.

The deal was exposed during the biometric registration of employees on the payroll system, in Tamale.

900 x 200 = 180,000

                    180,000.00 GHS
= 93,047.34 USD
Ghanaian Cedi US Dollar
1 GHS = 0.516930 USD 1 USD = 1.93450 GHS

Following Sex Offender Scandal, New Zealand Looks to Biometrics for Teacher Vetting

Sex teacher report a ‘serious wake up call’ – Parata (TVNZ)

Education Minister Hekia Parata released the findings of a Ministerial Inquiry today which outlines 35 recommendations to close the “significant gap” in the employment process for hiring teachers.

The recommendations include a police check for anyone who moves from a provisional teaching license to full registration and teachers informing schools if they change their name.

The Government is also considering making teachers use biometric photo identification when they switch schools.

The inquiry was ordered earlier this year after it was revealed sex offender Te Rito Henry Miki, 40, managed to work in six schools over four years despite a supervision order that prevented him from coming into contact with children.

See also:
One in Six Sex Offenders Lives Digital Double Life

The post dealing with the above article and the issues it raises is:
ID Isn’t Perfect. How Perfect Can (or Should) It Be?

Principals want More Biometrics in Schools

It’s not hard to understand why. They work; they’re cheap; they can save time and money. And when something happens, it’s the principal who has to face the music.

Fla. District Considers Student-Fingerprint Scanners (Education Week)

In response to an anonymous survey of Palm Beach County principals, the 171,000-student district is considering implementing fingerprint scans, or biometrics, for student bus riders, lunch purchases, and other uses, according to school officials.

In the survey, commissioned by the district’s support operations staff, 60 percent of Palm Beach principals said they would like to see biometrics in schools to help take attendance, borrow materials from the library, or make cafeteria purchases. “Based on the responses to the biometrics survey we will seek Board approval to pursue a pilot use on school buses based on information learned from the previous pilot in school cafeterias and media centers,” Joseph Sanches, the school district chief of support operations, wrote in a blog post.

Read the whole thing. There are lots of good links there, too. And remember, half of what a school does is ID management.

 UPDATE:The survey results are available here (Support Operations Scoop) Click and scroll down.

48 responses…

Biometrics offer significant advantages over identification cards.
(Strongly Agree = 15%, Agree = 45%, Disagree = 15%, Strongly Disagree = 2%, Not Sure = 23%)

I support using biometrics for such functions as student attendance, purchasing meals in the cafeteria, borrowing materials from media center, and tracking students on school buses.
(SA = 30%, A = 21%, D = 13%, SD = 2%, NS = 11%)

Even though biometrics do not record students’ fingerprints and it is being used successfully by other school districts, too many parents will object to its use in Palm Beach County for it to be used here.
(SA = 6%, A = 15%, D = 30%, SD = 4%, NS = 45%)

Giving the right amount of time, proper marketing and education most parents would come around to find the use of biometrics acceptable.
(SA = 15%, A = 64%, D = 6%, SD = 2%, NS = 13%)

The District should consider the use of biometrics in the future and not give up on its possible use with students at some point.
(SA = 21%, A = 51%, D = 11%, SD = 2%, NS = 15%)

Written comments are also included

US: Biometrics (Voice) to be Applied in the Wake of Teacher Certification Scam

Details of teacher certification scam uncovered (WMC-TV 5 Memphis, TN)

Ewing confirms one of his workers spotted odd behavior that triggered a 45-count indictment against Clarence Mumford and the de-certification of more than 50 teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“The people who serve as our test center supervisors, monitors, and room proctors are our first defense against such things,” Ewing explained.

According to court documents, Mumford hired four co-conspirators to assume the identities of teachers and aspiring teachers who could not pass the PRAXIS teacher certification test.

A PRAXIS worker noticed one person taking the same test several times in one day.

But technology may be the reason it went undetected 15 years.

Investigators say Mumford manufactured fake drivers licenses with his test takers photos and the aspiring teachers’ information.

Ewing says the vast majority of teachers who take the tests are honest, but changes are in store, including biometric voice scanning.

How voice enrollments and matching will work isn’t spelled out. I would have thought that since ID photos were the problem, facial recognition might have helped. I mean, you have one guy with one face who took, and passed, the test like fifty times!

Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee