China puts chips on children’s school uniforms for surveillance

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If you think that the China’s penchant to spy on its populace has hit a saturation point, here’s more to add to it. All schools in Southern China have been asked to implement a new rule to force children to wear micro-chipped uniforms in order to track down truants.

The objective of this extensive surveillance is to inform the parents of the children if their skip classes or if are caught doing mischief. While the children below 10 don’t have a problem in being monitored, the teenage lads are found opposing the new rule to the core.

As per the news report from The Global Times, at least 10 schools operating in Guizhou province and its neighboring state of Guangxi have made it mandatory for children to wear “smart uniforms”.

Management of these educational institutions call these chip-based clothes as “Intelligent Uniforms” and say that the manufacturer Guizhou Guanyu is offering them a price cut due to the Communist Party’s call to offer a government subsidy for all those educational institutes which are indulging in the creation of “Smart Campuses”.

The technology firm claims that its uniforms will have two chips embedded in the shoulders of the jacket and can sustain around 500 wash cycles and temperatures of 150 degree Celsius.

A source from China said that the tags will be matched by the facial recognition scanners installed at the school gate any student caught swapping the jackets will get caught and punished. Also, the chip-based jackets will also help monitor those kids who fall asleep in the classrooms and will inform their parents via an app.

Schools who implemented the “Intelligent Uniforms” say that the technology has helped improve the attendance of pupils attending classes and helps them keep a track of the children after hours of the school i.e. till they reach their respective homes.

“As soon as a child enters the campus the surveillance starts by taking a photo and video of the child until he/she reaches their classroom”, said Ran Ruxiang, a school principal of an elementary school operating in Guizhou province.

We do not keep the location tracking of a student precisely. However, if the child misses or skips the classes, the chip in their uniforms helps to detect them easily said Lin Zongwu again a school principal of a school located in Guizhou.

In near future, the embedded chips will also help teachers send parent notifications and exam reports and homework to students through the app.