Absenteeism among teachers

Dear Editor,
Indian education system demands for revival and freedom from dictatorship of other countries in the present era. But this goal is nearly impossible until the stakeholders learn their responsibilities. One of the most important stakeholders who are to partake the responsibilities of educational reforms in India is the ‘Teacher’. Normal indeed, but a teacher as an important stakeholder of education system can have different types of habits in his/her personal life which can either impact positively or negatively. In this connection, the most dangerous habit among the teachers can be-‘Absenteeism.’ It is defined by Brooks (1990) as “persistent, habitual, and unexplained absence from school”. Thereof, Teachers’ Absenteeism is extremely popular in Arunachal Pradesh. Particularly in the State Government schools and Central Government Schemes like SSA and RMSA. This is mainly due to the reason that there is a lack of accountability of teachers and if observed, “Lack of accountability on the part of the duty of Principals/ Head of Institutions” in controlling this issue.
There are various reasons for absenteeism among teachers such as truancy, school refusal, distant posting of husband and wife, overloaded co-curricular activities, requirement of study leave for professional development, relationship between students and teachers, relationship between head and teachers, insecurity, family problems and the most popular reason in the context of Arunachal Pradesh- ‘Irregularity of Salary’. But these should not be the reason of absenteeism among teachers. A teacher who is dedicated is least interested in the matter of regularity or irregularity of salary or any other aspect but interested in the changing behavior pattern of every Learner to a positive direction.
Against, ‘Absenteeism among teachers’ which is the fundamental drawback, a Mechanism should be developed and Team of Peers like that of NAAC peer team- are to be constructed both at state and national level for proper investigation of this problem. Besides, regular teachers should be Awarded even at the respective schools. It is an unchallenged fact that any education system which demands for development and change- cannot accommodate absenteeism among the teachers. Likewise, regularity among the teachers may lead to the success of desired educational reforms and assist every teacher in reviving back to their roles and responsibilities of being a teacher.
Geyin Boli,
PhD Scholar,
Deptt. of Education,
Rajiv Gandhi University