Contrary to popular perception and even that of the central and state government officials, a study finds Indian government school teachers as highly committed and that their absenteeism rate is highly exaggerated.
As per the findings of the research group at the Azim Premji Foundation released in March 2017, absence without reason is not more than 2.5% as against the popular perception of 25%. And the reasons that usually keep teachers out of school are “more to do with systemic issues that often require them to undertake other activities.”
The study took a sample of 619 schools and 2861 teachers across six states to analyze more closely the issue of teacher absenteeism. These schools are in the catchment area of the regions in which the Azim Premji Foundation works. As a disclaimer, the report observes: “Although our sample is not statistically representative of the whole of the country, this number is roughly in the same order of magnitude as in other studies. We also examine some potential correlates of overall absence from classroom and find that there are few obvious systematic differences attributable to the standard arguments.”
The study was part of the university’s efforts to improve the quality and equity of school education in India. “Our aim is to disseminate our studies to practitioners, academics and policy makers who wish to understand some of the key issues facing school education as observed by educators in the field.”
Table 1: Schools and teachers covered: state-wise
|No. of Schools
|No. of Teachers
* Across Bihar, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh