Prioritizing education reforms
Trying to eliminate teacher absenteeism is not only sub-optimal prioritization but also cannot be successful
There is this myth about government school teachers in India that most are usually absent from schools. The reality is different. The Annual Status of Education Report 2014 estimates teacher absence at 15%, but that includes those on approved leave and out of school on any other official work. Absenteeism i.e. absence without permission is probably between 6-8%. Still the myth of rampant absenteeism holds a tight grip over the imagination of people. So the first reform action in education suggested by most, including many within the government is, to tighten governance such that most teachers show up at school. There is no doubt that all teachers should be at school and teaching, and we should make that happen.
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