The new academic year is at the corner parents, teachers and school administrators have already begun brainstorming on how to tackle absenteeism and insecurity. “The absence of students in school is an unending problem in our schools today”, Auguste Ndongue a secondary school principal who acknowledges the fact that attendance and participation in classrooms is a farfetched reality making it difficult to assess school children at the end of each term.
This 2021-2022 academic year, parents have expressed worries on the safety of their children within the school milieu urging school administrators to beef up security. “I think installing surveillance cameras and ensuring that discipline masters are out to check on children who dodge lessons will be of great help“, Peter, a parent.
Both parties have their worries though the government goes for surveillance cameras as instituted by prime minister, Joseph Dion Ngute in March last year.
On the field, very few schools adhere to this rule argumenting that this equipment is very costly for them. Faced with the challenge, a group of Cameroon youths have created a digital card that will make surveillance a concern for both parents and teachers.
Single Card to fight absenteeism
My single card according to Franck Ngeti, chief of operations at Holmetech, a digital company in Douala, “the card will serve as a badge that will be linked to a machine in school. Each student will link up his/her badge to the machine and be identified“.
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Presenting the Single card and the mobile app through which parents will be linked to activities of their kids in school, some parents expressed worries as to how to make sure the children are really in the school compound. But the card going by Franck Ngeti “will not only solve the issue of absenteeism but also enable parents and teachers locate students who sign in and leave the school compound during school hours thanks to its mapping system”. With the new digital system, parents would also be able to follow up studies of their kids at home. All this through sms and online messages worth 250frs annually. Some parents have applauded the initiative hoping it is accepted by many school proprietors in Douala.