India’s education system is mired in corruption and a high rate of teacher absenteeism in the country was a key factor for it according to the new global study. The UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning study on corruption in education released recently says that 25% teacher absenteeism in India is among the highest in the world, second only after Uganda that has a higher rate. The global average of teacher absenteeism is about 20%.
Teacher absenteeism does not just affect quality of education; it is also a huge drain on resources resulting in the wastage of 22.5% of education funds in India the study said. Politics in teacher appointments and transfers is a major reason for teacher absenteeism according to a professor at National University for Education Planning and Administration.
The study identifies the absence of well established criteria for teacher recruitment a uniform policy on promotion, remuneration and deployment as some of the main reasons identified for teacher absenteeism. However the report found married teachers to be more regular at job than unmarried teachers.
In Bihar two of every five teachers were reported absent the figure in UP was reported to be one-third of the total teachers. However in states like Gujarat and Kerala the figure was lower than 15% the report based on several small studies.
Teachers also believe highly in private tutoring a practice identified by UNESCO as unethical. It does not complement learning at school and leads to corruption the report said. The practice of ghost teachers and involvement of teachers in mismanagement of schools were other gray areas identified in the Indian education system.
Another indictment of the sorry state of Indian education was the view held by students that cheating in examinations is their traditional right. In India universities cheating is now well-established. The fees for manipulating entrance tests ranges between $ 80 to $ 20,000 for popular programmes such as computer science, medicine and engineering the report said.