Hyderabad: In an unprecedented move, the Telangana State Model School Society has sacked six of its teachers for prolonged periods of absenteeism, on Saturday. While some of the sacked teachers had been missing duty for the past one year, several others had been found not discharging their duties for three and more years.
This move becomes significant as the State Education Department has designated September as the month of attendance of Haazaru Mahotsavam and even launched an app to monitor attendance of its teaches and students on a daily basis.
"When the fiasco came to light, the erring teachers were issued notices seeking an explanation. The six teachers, however, failed to respond to the notice and were removed from service," said A Satyanarayana Reddy, Additional Director, TSMSS.
The official, however, said that the dismissal of the teachers was not related to the Haazaru Mahotsavam or part of the initiatives to boost the attendance of both teachers and students.
However, in a meeting, earlier this month B Janardhan Reddy, secretary Education, had said that steps would be taken to arrest absenteeism and instructed the implementation of Haazaru Mahotsavam in all the government and local body schools.
This was complemented with the launch of T-Haazaru app, on which principals and headmasters were directed to upload the attendance of students and teachers every day by 10.30 am.
The teaching community in Model Schools is divided on the issue. While most agree that a prolonged period of absenteeism by teachers can not and should not be tolerated, as it adversely affects the quality of teaching in schools, it was also pointed out that online monitoring of attendance is becoming as a hassle, particularly for principals and headmasters.
"If a teacher skips school, the quality of education being provided will fall so the measures being taken by the education department are well intended," said Kranti Kumar, Vice President, Telangana State Model School Teachers Federation (TSMSTF).
Others like S Vittal Chauhan, principal of Model School, T-Haazaru is an additional burden on the principals who are now required to send two reports, one to DEO and other to the Commissioner's Office along with uploading details on the app.
"There are over 800 students in each school and 28 teachers in each of the 194 schools. In 88 schools, there are in charge principals which means that along with the regular teaching activities they also have to send the daily attendance reports," he said and added that while responsibilities are increasing, facilities for teachers in Mode school are not being improved.
Recruitment of teachers and hostel wardens, transfer, service rules and health cards are some of the long-standing demands of the Model Schools teachers.