Betul district education officer has suspended a teacher after local residents and parents conducted a sting operation and recorded conversation to expose his alcohol addiction.
The case came to light on Saturday evening when the district education officer appealed all schools to stay careful in such cases. Mahendra Singh had been a teacher at the Government Primary School in Ghugri village for about six months. Students and their parents had alleged he came to a school drunk and did not teach.
To prove their point, parents held a “panchnama” (spot verification) and recorded the teacher’s video while he was in the class. Later, principal of the block, who was invited to be a witness to the scene, inquired the teacher and also shot a video where the teacher kept on repeating that neither the collector and nor any minister can take an action against him.
Block principal Majula Bairasi sent the video to the district education officer (DEO). “The parents informed that this teacher usually remains absent from the school and whenever he comes, he comes in a drunk state. So I decided to complain against him to DEO,” she added.
Following the complaint, Singh has been suspended. Betul district education officer RS Bisore confirmed his suspension and told HT, “Children can never be safe with such a teacher and, hence, I have suspended him. I have also instructed all government schools in the district to report such matters at the earliest so that we can take action.”
Carelessness and absenteeism of teachers is not new in Madhya Pradesh. More than 50% of teachers in several government schools in the state remain absent from duty on any given day, according to an extensive inspection drive conducted few months ago by the school education department.
Some of the absent teachers were also found to have let imposters appear for duty in their place for monthly payments ranging up to ₹5,000 each, said SR Mohanty, a former additional chief education secretary.