Ten schools in Guizhou and Guangxi have introduced ‘Intelligent Uniforms’ that will track and monitor the students’ whereabouts embedded with GPS tracker to ensure the students don’t skip their class and assure parents of their children’s attendance, behaviour in real-time and safety. When a child enters the school, classroom, or dormitory, a short video confirms a GPS recording of the data and time stamp, which the parents can view on a connected mobile app.
The chip developers Guizhou Guanyu Technology said that Facial recognition technology has been designed to prevent the children from improperly swapping their uniforms. For the truants, skipping classes triggers an alarm to notify the teachers and parents, while for a student walking off the school premise without permission will automatically activate the voice alarm. Alarms will also sound if a student falls asleep in the class. The parents can also monitor the purchases made in the school and set spending limits via the mobile app. The two chips embedded in the uniforms can be washed up to 500 times and will withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The students have two uniforms for summer and two for winter, each reportedly costing $47 (320 Yuan) the same price as the standard uniforms according to China Daily.
The company released a public statement via popular Chinese social media site Weibo saying the uniforms “focus on safety issues”, and provide a “smart management method” that benefits students, teachers and parents. In recent years, China’s Ministry for Education has touted on the schools the development of ‘Smart Campuses’ in a push to Digitalise education. China is also the world leader in developing and implementing surveillance technologies. In big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, most of the wealthy electric-car drivers are not even aware that their vehicles are collecting data and sending it to the ‘Government backed monitoring centres‘. It has also rolled out surveillance software which authorities say can identify people from their walking style, even with their faces hidden or backs turned.
The technology apparently, has sparked a debate on China’s social media platforms. “The school is a boarding school, so it is hard for me to parent my son at home. This uniform can put some pressure on him and let him know that I will be notified if he skips classes,” said a parent to China Daily. “It is hard to parent a teenager, and I need all the help I can get.”
To summarise, the high-tech uniform is a big relief for the parents who are continuously juggling to keep with their career, family, and children’s well-being in a fast pace life, as it helps them to track and monitor their children at school
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