STOP IT! Minister says schools should quit forcing teachers to use fingerprint devices

Karl Samuda, the minister responsible for education, is calling on school administrators to desist using automated fingerprinting technology to monitor attendance by teachers, without seeking the approval of the Ministry of Education.

According to Samuda, who was responding to questions from the Opposition Spokesman on Education Ronald Thwaites in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Sept 17), the 1980 Education Regulations should guide the process.

‘Teachers cannot be compelled to provide biometric data such as fingerprints to schools.’

—Karl Samuda

The issue was brought to light recently that eight teachers of the 140 educators at Mona High refused to use the fingerprinting system at the school to record attendance. The procedure was instituted by principal Keven Jones at the start of the school year, .

“Teachers cannot be compelled to provide biometric data such as fingerprints to schools. Section 30(A) of the Finger Prints Act directs that a person can only be compelled to provide fingerprints in specific criminal matters. The law also allows an individual the right to refuse to give fingerprints,” Samuda said in Parliament.