A damning UNESCO report, which states that the Indian education system is mired in corruption and teachers are the biggest players in it, has left the HRD ministry with a red face. The ministry is expected to reply to the charges levelled in the report in Parliament on Monday.
The recently released study on corruption in education, by UNESCO's International Institute of Educational Planning, says that teacher absenteeism in India is among the highest in the world. While the global average of teacher absenteeism is about 20 per cent, in India it is 25 per cent. Only Uganda has a higher rate than India.
While in Bihar, two of every five teachers were reported absent, the figure in UP was reported to be one in every three.
Teacher absenteeism is a huge drainer on resources too. It results in the wastage of 22.5 per cent of education funds in India, the study says.
Absence of well-established criteria for recruiting teachers, no uniform policy on promotion, remuneration and deployment are some of the reasons for teacher absenteeism, the study says.
Teachers may not go to schools, but they are heavily into private tutoring. "Private tuitions do not complement learning at school and lead to corruption," it says.
Then there's the problem of cheating. "In Indian universities, cheating is now well-established," the report said. "The fee for manipulating entrance tests ranges from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8 lakh for popular programmes like computer science, medicine, engineering," the report said.