Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) government is taking several important steps to improve the teaching and learning system in the education sector.

Teacher absenteeism was a significant problem in government schools, especially in schools in remote areas and villages. The attendance of the teachers was negligible. There were frequent complaints from such areas that the teachers posted in the schools come and go as they please, for example, if it is 8 am school time, the teachers would arrive at 10 or 10.30 at a leisurely pace and then leave before the break time.

Not only this but many parents and students also complained that the teachers have kept taking turns to come in. The teachers come alternately during the week and the teacher who is absent, is attended to by other teachers, then leaves his place empty and when he comes to school, he attends there.

In addition, teachers who had some political influence used to get a salary while sitting at home, there are many teachers who spent most of their service in cities and towns and used to draw salary regularly due to their interaction with department officials.

Because of this, the education sector suffered. Despite spending crores of rupees per month on school education by the government, the quality of education continued to decline day by day. Enrolment in schools began to decline, with only children of poor parents being forced into government schools.

Parents who were also marginally better off financially, mostly preferred to enrol their children in private educational institutions, but the government has now come up with a lasting solution.

Biometric attendance of teachers has been introduced in all government schools from primary to twelfth, colleges and universities in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the introduction of the biometric attendance system, fingerprints on the biometric machine when the school opens in the morning and when the school closes in the afternoon. Installation of the machines to take attendance is mandatory.

A person named Mohammad Yaqub from the remote village of Pathana Tir in the border district of Poonch said, "Nowadays, teachers start going to school at 7 o'clock in the morning. In the morning, teachers do not have time to talk and try to hurry."

He said that the attendance of teachers in schools has improved now.

Government school teachers are required to attend for six hours, and schools should open from 8 am or 10 am. As directed by the LG administration, teachers in all schools have purchased biometric machines linked to a central server where hours are fully accounted for.

A senior official of the school department said that the teachers who come to school late will be marked on the machine and the salary will be deducted for the number of hours they are absent before the month when their pay is due.

The process of salary deduction has been started in the Deputy Commissioner's office and many other offices.

This initiative will definitely improve things for the students and will raise the quality of education in J-K.