The Jharkhand government will introduce toll-free numbers to keep tabs on teachers who play hooky and neglect their duties, an official said on Sunday.
The state school education and literacy department will launch two toll-free numbers for people to lodge complaints against government teachers who stay away from school, said Jayant Mishra, superintendent of education of Ranchi district.
“The toll-free numbers that will be launched on Tuesday, will help us monitor the education system for the greater benefit of the students,” he said.
People can lodge complaints on any of the two toll-free numbers between 8am and 6pm, against teachers who are either absent from class or neglecting their students which affected functioning of schools, he said.
An official, who did not want to be named, said that a majority of teachers in rural and semi urban schools had developed a habit of staying away from school.
Citing an example, he said that a Hindi teacher of a government school in Garwah was recently caught for being absent from class for more than a month without informing his superiors or taking approval.
He said many teachers left school after attending the first class of the day or asked children to play during practical classes.
On October 7 this year, Ranchi district education officer Rajkumar Prasad Singh withheld salaries of 33 teaching and non-teaching staff of SS Girls High School, after 20 of them were found absent during a surprise visit.
Not only were the teachers absent from school they had suspended middle school classes for three days.
People can also lodge complaints about irregularities in mid day meals, weather toilets are available and useable in schools, anomalies in chief minister’s vidya laxmi yojna and distribution of school uniforms to students, said Ratan Srivastava, civic works manager of Jharkhand Education Project Council.
“Teachers’ presence in class …is crucial for achieving education goals in Jharkhand,” said Aradhna Patnaik, secretary of state school education and literacy secretary.
Teachers against whom complaints are lodged through the toll-free numbers will be questioned within 48 hours, she said.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report, 2014, 55.7% of primary school students in Jharkhand cannot recognise the English alphabet while 53.7% of them cannot recognise numbers up to 9.
According to figures with the state school education department, there are more than 45,680 government schools across the state where more than 52, 30,112 students study.