Opinion: Finger printing

POSTED: 10/24/11 2:12 AM

The St. Maarten Academy has found a way to check that its teachers show up on time for work: a fingerprint scanner. We read that teachers are not happy with it and that makes us wonder.
As far as we know, a similar system is in use at the office of at least one insurance company. Nobody is making a fuss there; at least, we haven’t heard anyone object to it.
And let’s face it: are schools not entitled to know when their teachers arrive and when they leave? What is the big deal?
Bringing up privacy issues seems a bit weak. It’s not like the school intends to send the finger prints to Jos van Deventer at the forensics department of the police. The scanners are simply a modern day time registration system. It is fool proof, unless teachers are prepared to give a colleague one of their fingers to check in for them. That won’t happen, and therefore the unhappiness of teachers is easily explained.
They do not want to be controlled. They do not want the school to know when they are arriving late, when they are leaving early, or when they are not showing up at all.
Well, duh! We’d recommend these scanners not only for all schools, but also for, for instance, the civil service. That would neatly put a stop to the phenomenon of ghost civil servants. Nobody talks much about this anymore, but there still seem to be people on the government’s payroll who never show up, let alone do a day’s work for the salary they are receiving.
That money comes ultimately from the pockets of citizens who do have a job, and who see part of their money disappear to the government in the form of for instance wage taxes. Eliminating ghost civil servants will cut down the government’s payroll and free up money for useful projects that benefit ordinary and hard working people.
Are there maybe ghost teachers around as well? We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure that at the St. Maarten Academy all teachers will soon show up in time and not leave before they are supposed to. That ought to give teachers who toe the line a good feeling.

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