Using Technology to Ensure Student Attendance in Brazil

For decades, Brazil has tried to address it’s educational shortcomings in any number of ways, from expanding higher education to focusing on greater literacy rates in the countryside to improving enrollment rates through programs like Bolsa Familia. That said, this seems like a particularly-21st century attempt to address education rates among Brazilians:

Schools in Brazil have started to place computer chips in school uniforms to keep track of pupils and reduce truancy.

Some 20,000 pupils in the north-eastern city of Vitoria da Conquista will have microchips embedded in their school T-shirts.

The parents will get a text message when their children arrive at school, or if they are late for classes.

The authorities say the measure will help teacher-parent relations.

While this initially sounds a little odd, at the same time, if Brazilian parents and students are fine with it, and only the schools have access to students’ absences, then it’s hard to argue against using new technologies to make sure students attend classes and gain the education they need to be important participants in and contributors to the Brazilian economy.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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2 Responses to Using Technology to Ensure Student Attendance in Brazil

  1. Yann says:

    Wow, I can see this taking off in Latin America, not really to address truancy, but to address fears of one’s children being kidnapped to or from school.

    • That’s actually a really good point. The private security industry (and the fears that that industry simultaneously feeds and profits from) is definitely booming in Brazil (and elsewhere, no doubt), and it’s easy to see this kind of thing being adapted for that. I even have to wonder if individuals would have the microchip implanted under their skin (like pets in the US) so that potential kidnappers couldn’t get rid of the tracking device by just ripping it off or making you change clothes.

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