Following a 15-day inspection drive aimed at assessing the number of teachers available in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools and number of teachers required, the civic education department has come out with a list of 20 teachers who have been on an “unauthorised” leave at a stretch of over three to four years. The BMC education department on Thursday suspended the 20 teachers. While 16 have been suspended for unauthorised absenteeism, four have been suspended for charges like misbehaving with students, not performing their duties or not teaching despite being present in school.
One of the teachers marked his attendance on the biometric system installed at a BMC office near his residence and skipped going to school. The matter came to light after students told the inspection team about the teacher’s absenteeism. “We checked the location of his attendance punching in the system,” said a senior official.
The education department had started a drive to check the requirement of teachers and quality of teaching in all civic body-run school.
“We found many teachers missing during duty hours. On probing further by checking the attendance record and cross-checking with students, we found that these teachers have not been coming to school for long. While some were found to be on leave for three to four months, majority were not coming to school for past three-four years. We set up an inquiry and finally decided to suspend them,” said Mahesh Palkar, the BMC education officer. “This was one of the factors why the quality of teaching at BMC was degrading. The problem has been eradicated. However, we need to take preventive steps to avoid such things in future,” he said.