April 24, 2007 / 6:59 AM / 13 years ago

Scanners keep students under China college's thumb

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese college has introduced fingerprint scanners to stop students playing truant, the China Daily said on Tuesday, but not everyone is pleased about it.

Meiya College of International Studies at Hunan University spent 250,000 yuan ($32,360) last year to install the scanners in each of its 30-plus classrooms.

“Students are now required to ‘check in’ to each class by pressing their thumbs against the scanner,” the newspaper said.

Hou Lichen, dean of the college in the central province of Hunan, said that in the past, teachers would record attendances by taking registers. However, these were time-consuming and it was easy to cheat.

Attendance had risen to 95 percent since the scanners were introduced, the newspaper said.

However, not everyone is happy.

Gu Yifan, a first-year student, said she would never skip class, regardless of whether there was a scanner.

“We are adults. Is it really necessary to control us in this way?” she was quoted as saying.

Other students said they feared the fingerprint data could be leaked out of the college and used for other purposes.

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