Lucknow: In a bid to improve the quality of education and check truant teachers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wants images of faculty members pasted on walls of state-run schools.
This will be done to verify and then cross-check from the students whether those whose pictures are displayed attend schools regularly and teach or not.
Adityanath took the decision at a meeting in Gorakhpur late on Sunday.
The Chief Minister said he was worried over the falling standards in the primary and junior high schools in the sprawling state.
He said officials would conduct surprise inspections and review in these schools. Students would be queried on the regularity of their teachers.
He said some teachers use proxies to teach while they themselves draw hefty salaries without doing any work. This would no longer be tolerated, Adityanath told officials.
He was determined to ensure that the standard of education in the state-run schools improved even if it meant taking out-of-the-box steps or tough measures.
A senior teacher here admitted that the very fact that the Chief Minister had to resort to such a mechanism exposed the rot that has systematically eaten up the education system over the years.
"It may sound strange, extreme and bizarre but I feel that primary and higher secondary schools run by the government in UP need a major overhaul," said Sujata Singh, a retired principal.
Uttar Pradesh has 866,361 primary and 8,459 higher secondary schools which employ hundreds of thousands of teachers.
Some feel that many of them are not qualified and have secured the job through "connections" or by paying bribes.
Aarti Mishra, a teacher, cites many instances where unqualified teachers are taken in and they pay lesser amounts to qualified people to teach in their place.
This happens brazenly in schools in the countryside, says another teacher.
Mass copying during exams has also eaten up the system, rues teacher Anamika Singh, who says the government was apparently left with no option but to get tough.
Travelling daily to her school in Kishni, many kilometres from her home, she says she is a witness to how teachers bunk classes and instead ask other colleagues, at times even peons, to chip in for them.