You may be aware that government teachers in Uttar Pradesh are protesting against the state’s move to implement digital attendance for them. While the administration has given them 30 minutes of leverage allowing them to mark attendance by 8.30 am, the teachers were still unhappy and urging the government to first fulfil their demands including pay hikes. Amid the attendance row, Sambhal DM Rajender Pensiya went on a surprise inspection of a government school. 

During the inspection, the DM found that while all the staff were present, one of the teachers spent most of his time playing Candy Crush games and using his smartphone.  

How The Event Unfolded?

The District Magistrate (DM) made a surprise visit to the government school in Sharifpur village, Sambhal. During the visit, he observed the teachers’ instructional methods and questioned the students about their learning techniques. He then personally checked the homework notebooks that had been reviewed by the teachers. When the DM examined six pages from the notebooks of six students, he found 95 errors in the pages that the teachers had already checked.

Specifically, there were 9 errors on the first page, 23 on the second, 11 on the third, 21 on the fourth, 18 on the fifth, and 13 on the sixth page. The DM reprimanded the teachers for these mistakes. However, he also praised one teacher and one teacher’s assistant for their excellent work.

Digital Wellbeing Feature Exposes Teacher

Additionally, during the visit, the DM reviewed the Digital Wellbeing feature of teacher Prem Goyal’s mobile phone, it was revealed that he had used his mobile phone for about 2 to 2.5 hours during school hours. This included 1 hour and 17 minutes playing Candy Crush Saga, 26 minutes on phone calls, 17 minutes on Facebook, 11 minutes on Google Chrome, 8 minutes on ActionDash, 6 minutes on YouTube, 5 minutes on Instagram, and 3 minutes on the Read Along app. Of these, only the Read Along app is an official departmental app. The teacher was suspended for his negligence.

The school has a total enrollment of 101 students, but less than 50 per cent were present during the DM’s visit, with only 47 students in attendance. However, all five teachers were present at the time of the inspection.

Why Digital Attendance Is Being Made Mandatory?

In many states, the concept of dummy teachers is very much in practice. What many government teachers do that they send a dummy teacher to school in their place while they pursue another profession or business. They pay dummy teachers Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 per month from the high salaries that they get from the government. Another issue is that the teachers don’t come on time and just come for an hour or two to just mark their attendance.