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DBT for teacher salaries, biometric attendance in schools: suggest economic survey

assembly-school The economic survey has also called for a pilot project on biometric attendance in schools

Teachers' salary should be directly transferred to their accounts using Aadhaar, like in DBT (direct benefit transfer). This is economic survey 2016-17's prescription to curb fund diversion and to motivate teachers. DBT is currently being used by the HRD ministry for scholarship payments.

"Non-payment of salaries to teachers or delayed payments demotivates them and directs them to alternative sources of income at the cost of their primary teaching function," observed the survey.

The fund flow under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, currently, happens step by step. Centre releases funds to states, which then send it to the districts and from there it flows to the block and village level.

The government has so far transferred Rs 33,369 crore directly into people's accounts through 316 schemes under DBT. This has resulted in savings of Rs 57,029 crore.

The economic survey has also called for a pilot project on biometric attendance in schools. One school in every block should be subject to biometric attendance system for teachers, staff and students. 

This should be accompanied by independent setting of examination papers and neutral evaluation. Based on the feedback of this pilot, the same should be modified and extended to all schools in all blocks in India before the end of 2021-22. The survey believes that this will help curb teacher absenteeism and improve learning outcomes.

The report says that although RTE has improved enrolment level in primary schools, quality remains a challenge.

"The problem lies in the approach which focused almost entirely on inputs such as specifications for infrastructure of schools, pupil-teacher ratios, teacher qualifications, teacher salaries," says the survey.

Besides, overburdening of teachers with administrative responsibilities of schools, especially at primary levels, also has an adverse impact on learning outcomes.

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