Little selfies for tight security

Little selfies for tight security
Bryan Yap, 36, and his four-year-old daughter, Carina, smile for the camera at Learning Vision. At 40 schools run by Knowledge Universe, pre-schoolers take selfies as a form of attendance and to record their temperature.

SINGAPORE - But first, let me take a selfie. And that is exactly what children as young as three years of age are doing at some preschools.

At 40 schools run by Knowledge Universe, pre-schoolers take a selfie on iPads at the entrance of the centre as a form of attendance.

As they "check in" through an app called LittleLives, their temperature is also recorded, to pick out those who are not fit to attend school.

More than 5,000 infants and pre-schoolers have been using the system since last year.

Parents usually watch over their children as they perform the "duty", both in the morning and evening as they are leaving. In the case of younger children, they help them.

The group runs Learning Vision, Pat's Schoolhouse, Odyssey The Global Preschool and Brighton Montessori.

At 10 centres, the level of technology is taken a notch higher.

A facial-recognition system at the entrance scans faces and matches images to a database of authorised parents.

Knowledge Universe head of operations Julia Teo said that the systems were put in place to cut down on administrative processes and maintain a high level of security. In March, the LittleLives platform was expanded, she said.

"Time-pressed parents can now benefit from a central online portal where they can closely monitor their child's learning progress and achievements in preschool - much like an interactive report card," Ms Teo said.

A spokesman for Cherie Hearts, which has piloted a similar system that requires the children to take a selfie, said that this was done to reduce paperwork and administration, in order to free up teachers to concentrate on the children.

Pre-schools also use iPads and other forms of technology to keep young minds engaged.

A spokesman for EtonHouse said that they use interactive whiteboards, which are touchscreens, and light tables.

Ms Jessie Ang, whose six-year-old son is in K2 at Learning Vision in Changi Business Park, said that, with the portal, she can monitor both his health and activities.

She said: "Sometimes, when I ask him how his day was, he doesn't remember what he did. When I show him the photos that are uploaded on the portal, he remembers, and the stories flow."

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