SAO PAULO — Grade-school students in a northeastern Brazilian city are using uniforms embedded with locator chips that help alert parents if they're cutting classes, the city's education secretary said Thursday.
Twenty thousand students in 25 of Vitoria da Conquista's 213 public schools started using T-shirts with chips earlier this week, secretary Coriolano Moraes said by telephone.
By 2013, all of the city's 43,000 public school students, aged 4 to 14, will be using the chip-embedded T-shirts, he added.
Radio frequency chips in "intelligent uniforms" let a computer know when children enter school and it sends a text message to their cell phones. Parents are also alerted if kids don't show up 20 minutes after classes begin with the following message: "Your child has still not arrived at school."
"We noticed that many parents would bring their children to school but would not see if they actually entered the building because they always left in a hurry to get to work on time," Moraes said in a telephone interview. "They would always be surprised when told of the number times their children skipped class.
After a student skips classes three times parents will be asked to explain the absences. If they fail to do so, the school may notify authorities, Moares said.