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Missing Motivation for Performance in Government Schools

1. Superficial school performance standards:
Include parameters such as number of days schools should be open, number of teaching hours, syllabus completion, and the timely submission of various reports to local education administrators; school inspections involve measuring compliance against these metrics. The most important parameter of performance is unfortunately not a significant part of the consideration - learning outcomes regularly monitored through independent assessments. While board examination results are broadly used as performance indicators, they don't point to grade-wise remediation needs and by then it is too late to take corrective measures.

2. Ad-hoc tick-box pre-service training and constrained in-service upskilling:
Are missed opportunities to improve teaching consistently. In-service training for example is defined by the number of days for each government teacher every year and not by content. Most trainings conducted by District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) and Cluster & Block Resource Centres are detached from actual training needs or evaluations of teacher performance, and conducted by senior teachers, not qualified trainers. Also, class schedules and teacher vacancies mean schools are reluctant to encourage trainings outside, and teacher unions object to using vacations for training courses, leaving very few options for quality in-service coaching.

3. Lack of monitoring and accountability measures and heavy politicisation:
Has meant high rates of teacher absenteeism, and not enough time on task in the classroom. Several reports highlight absence of teachers and the presence of proxy teachers; yet there are fewer instances of any action taken. A 2005 study in UP found that at the time of visit only 45% teachers were involved in teaching activity. In a similar study in Rajasthan across 3000 schools, teachers attended classes only 65% of the time, while only one principal reported taking disciplinary action against absent teachers. A 2008 NUEPA study on teachers reiterates the nexus between teacher unions, local administrators and political representatives that bias most decisions, including recruitment, transfers and promotions.

4. Absence of performance-linked incentives:
means there are few inducements for teachers to excel and self-motivate. Raises are linked to Pay Commission recommendations and applied to all teachers, while promotions are driven by years of service and recommendations of school principals. Performance evaluations such as school inspections, annual reports of school principals are not linked to individual development needs or in-service training received. Similarly, there are few avenues for recognising and correcting low performance; non-increase in salary is used as a punitive measure only for extreme disciplinary issues.

Page last modified on Tuesday May 10, 2016 13:42:06 IST

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