‘Govt. school teachers often away on duty’

For long, government school teachers have complained of being burdened with non-academic work.

A survey held recently on teacher absenteeism in government schools in Karnataka and five other Statesfound that nearly 7% of the teachers were absent on account of a range of official duties outside the classroom. About 2.5% of the teachers were found to be absent from school without any reason.

The survey, conducted by the Azim Premji Foundation (APF), covered 2,861 teachers in 619 government schools across Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; there were 371 teachers from 60 schools in Karnataka alone. Nearly 19 % of the teachers were not present in school at the time of the survey.

It was found that the main reason teachers were away from school was not neglect of duty, but rather “systemic issues” that required them to take up other tasks.

Range of tasks

Some teachers were not present in school on account of official academic duty (deputation to other schools, training, and cluster meetings) and administrative duty (submission of report on midday meals, children with special needs and other incentive schemes).

Many were also away because of elections, health issues, panchayat meetings and department schemes.

Anish Madhavan, head of field research at APF, said government school teachers were generally a committed lot “Their effectiveness is dependent on their work environment and the support they get. Clearly, teacher absenteeism is not as big an issue as it is made out to be; our study also suggests that,” he said.

The data is based on a day’s visit to each school during August-September 2016. The study also found that more female teachers (83.8%) were present in school than males (78.4%). About 80.5% of the regular teachers were present in school, as opposed to 83.5% of headmasters.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 1:53:49 pm |