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academic, education

Big Brother arrives in Madrid’s classrooms – I don’t think so

“El Gran Hermano se cuela en las aulas madrileñas” – ‘Big Brother arrives in Madrid classrooms,’ reads the headline in today’s Spanish national El País, the most widely-circulated daily newspaper in Spain.

The President of Madrid Council, Esperanza Aguirre today announced a new intiative which will see software deployed across all of Madrid’s schools allowing parents of pupils to see what their children are getting up to in class, over the web by SMS text message or

Kids from UK TV show Grange Hill hanging out

Kids from UK TV show Grange Hill skiving off

by mobile phone. It will allow access to pupils’ grades they are really getting (so allowing no room for the old ‘doctoring-of-the-termly-report trick’) and will even let them know what their behaviour is like.

This ‘Sistema de Información de Centros Educativos’ (SICE) will be implemented in each of Madrid’s 328 schools from next week, coinciding with the beginning of the new term in the Spanish capital. The Ministry of Education is launching an awareness campaign to explain how the initiative works and each school will receive a basic user guide.

I wonder how this will go down with the kids? And what kind of take-up the service will have by busy parents anyway? Where there is new technology, there is a hacker, so I’d be interested to track the security aspect of SICE. And with many children having a better handle on mobile phones and web technology than their parents in some cases, you have to wonder what adoption rates will be like.

Bunking off is going to be a lot trickier, that’s for sure.

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