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More and more kids being scanned in and out of school with barcodes
Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in the centre of Brussels is the latest in an ever-growing number of primary schools to use scanners to check children in and out. The pupils receive a barcode sticker to place on their schoolbag that is scanned when they enter and leave the premises.
The goal is to make it easier to charge parents for the correct number of hours of after-school care. School head Hilde Gryseels says it is a pilot project to ease up the level of administration. “Previously, we had to note down by hand how long every child was present in after-school care,” she said. “That’s not a modern approach.”
The Infano chain of child-care providers is using the system in its daycare facilities as well as in the after-school care centres it manages in Flanders and in Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels. It works in more than 90 primary schools.
Schools can choose whether to keep track of after-school hours themselves or to let Infano do it with the barcode system. “When it’s up to us, we always use the scan system,” said Infano operational director Hans Desmedt. “It is much more efficient than filling out forms by hand.”
The system is within the privacy legal framework, and parents don’t have problems with it, according to Infano. Should the system try to use biological scanning, such as a fingerprint or an eye scan, the privacy situation would be much more sensitive, it said.
Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA