Parents of school children using free Government transport will be able to keep track of children’s journeys to and from school with new ‘fob’ chip and mobile app. The Education Ministry insisted in a statement that this is not a kind of GPS tracking device, but merely a ‘tag’ marking the student going on or off the authorised transport.
After students and parents lamented with Newsbook.com.mt of this new technology being sprung on them without their prior knowledge. A 14 year-old student spoke to this newsroom frustrated at being told to have a microchip attached to his school bag, or risk losing transport privileges. This was never in any terms and conditions prior to parents booking transport.
While the Education Ministry did not answer questions sent by Newsbook.com.mt after the aforementioned article was published, they clarified what the fob device really is in the statement.
The Ministry on their end said that the fob system is currently in place in one state school and, following a technical evaluation, will then be given to other students. In order to allay any controversial rumours, the statement specifically explained that “the fob has no form of GPS in it and is not trackable”. As soon as the student is out of the vehicle, nobody can know where they are using the fob device.
The chip itself was said to have absolutely no tracking technology whatsoever, in fact, “where the tag to be lost, it doesn’t even contain information leading to identifying the student it belongs to”.