The recruitment and service conditions, including monitoring of teachers’ attendance are primarily in the domain of State Governments and UT Administrations.
The World Bank took up a research project in 2004 on teacher absenteeism in 6 countries, including India and conducted a survey in 3700 schools in 20 States. The report, inter alia, concluded that twenty-five per cent of teachers in Government primary schools remained absent from work on any given day, and only 50% of teachers present in schools were actually engaged in teaching. As per Annual Status of Education report (ASER )2016, the teachers’ attendance was 85.4% at primary level and 84.7% at upper primary level
The Central Government has also conducted two studies of teachers’ attendance in 2006 and 2013. According to these two studies, the overall attendance of teachers improved from 81.7% to 84.3% at primary level and from 80.5% to 81.3% at upper primary level. As per the study conducted in 2013, the main reasons for teacher absenteeism include: illness of a family member, health reason of teacher, residence far away from school, lack of transport suited to school timing, engaged in other economic activities (e.g. agriculture, business, tuitions, etc.), posting in a school not of the teacher’s liking, participation in political/social activities, etc.
Section 24 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 mandates that a teacher appointed under sub-section (1) of the Section 23 shall perform the following duties, namely (a) maintain regularity and punctuality in attending school and (b) complete entire curriculum within specified time. The steps taken by the Central Government to improve teachers’ attendance include, inter alia, monitoring teachers’ attendance through School Management Committees/School Management Development Committees/Block Resource Centres/Clusters Resource Centres and encouraging States and UTs to use digital technology like installation of Bio-metric attendance system in schools.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.
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