Is RFID the right solution for Schools?
Why do your school need RFID?
Why do schools install RFID in first place? Objectives are different. Some do it for automated antecedence and others do it for child safety. If you are a school who is using RFID for the attendance automation where kids tap the cards to reader, you can go ahead with this. But, if you are one of those school who is doing it for child safety, then you are about to make a wrong decision choosing RFID. Just stop there!
Why RFID fails?
Many schools implement the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for student safety within the school or in school buses and they fail. The eminent problem is RFID requires either tapping on the reader or passing through the RFID reader gates.
Kids are smarter
The kids are smarter and they tend to avoid RFID gates and roam inside the campus undetected. The downside is, they can land up to restricted areas like terrace or male child entering female washroom or unauthorized access to chemistry lab.
Body Contains 60% of water
RFID technology is meant for asset tracking and not people tracking. Our body contains 60% of water and RFID signals don’t pass through the water. This is where 30% of student detection fails.
Automated Antecedence V/S Tracking Live
Second problem is understanding the difference between tracking and marking attendance. Many vendors sell the RFID gates solutions saying it will track students and staff. The fact is, students will be marked only when they tap (100% if they really tap) or pass through the RFID gates (fails 30% of the time).
Schools will not know live where the student or staff member is now. This itself eliminates the benefits of live tracking. If school is able to know that child is in the washroom since past 10 minutes, it is likely that there is something wrong in there. With RFID solution, this is not possible.
What are the options?
There are other two technologies which can help taking automated attendance, tracking the students live and provide actionable items. First one is cost effective SchoolCop’s Life Card with SoS/Panic buttons and second is UWB cards.
How much it costs?
Typically Life Card bases solution costs anywhere around 125 to 250 rupees per child per month and UWB costs almost double than it.
Red zones & Green Zones
Schools can create red-zones and green-zones for each user role. Infringement of the rules shall provide timely alerts to the central control room for preventive action
By automated attendance Teachers shall spend more time teaching, admin staff can work on more productive things instead of making data entry and parents shall be informed real time if the kid is in school or not.
Using live tracking for the kids is a boon in today’s connected world. Visitors unauthorized movements can be detected automatically. It might be intentional or unintentional movement, but as a school, it is a duty to prevent unauthorized access to any outsider.
Do you care about safeguarding against Sexual / Physical / Mental Abuse?
Bullying / Sexual harassment / Physical abuses can be reported by students in real time by pressing SOS/Panic button in the iCard. If a child is not feeling safe, he/she can simply hit the button embedded in the iCard to send an alert to control room. It can even minimize the bullying related issues.
Staff KPI Automation
The Key Performance Index(KPI) of the staff members are typically linked with the iCards. How long the security guard was stationed at the designated place? Did the security guard checked all the classrooms after school finished? Are the washrooms getting cleaned every two hours? All these operational answers and actionable items shall be available on single dashboard. This will provide better efficiency to school management and increase the brand value.
If you are just looking for attendance automation, go with RFID and that not with the Gates but with Tap & Go. But if you really care about the child safety at school and in school buses, SchoolCop’s Life Card is the answer. You can ask our consultant to provide FoC advice for choosing right solution. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.