Measuring and rewarding the right kind of performance forms the cornerstone of any well functioning system of incentives. Public education in India, both primary and higher education, is marked by a complete absence of performance-based incentives for teachers. Consequently, the system is marked by fixed tenures, uniform emoluments across grades and promotions that are a function of experience and accumulated graduate degrees rather than performance.
Studies have highlighted the weak link between the experience and training of teachers (as indicated by traditional teacher training certification) and pupil achievement. Pupil achievement has been found to be linked most strongly with a teacher’s performance, which in turn is linked to her/his cognitive skills and motivation. However, the salary scales of teachers in India’s 900, 000 government schools incorporate no link to a teacher’s job performance.
The author is a student of public policy at Duke University. She can be reached at [email protected].