INDORE, India – School officials in India are looking for biology teacher Sangeeta Kashyap to ask her why she’s been absent from class … for 23 years.
The teacher is still listed as an employee of a school in the town of Idore despite taking maternity leave in 1994 and never coming back, BBC reports.
The biology teacher was reportedly recruited to a school in Madhya Pradesh in 1990, spent one year teaching in the town of Dewas, then took three years of leave. She was transferred to the Indore school when her leave ran out, but immediately applied for maternity leave and never reported to work, according to the news site.
Local education officials have attempted to contact the state education department, and at one point was told she would be removed from her position, but it hasn’t happened. Attempts to contact the teacher at her listed address also have gone unanswered, BBC reports.
“I have no idea why nothing was done,” local education official Sanjay Goel told the news site. “We are writing them again to remove her.”
It’s unclear when the teacher was last paid, but school officials are apparently required to hold her spot. The school is allocated three biology teachers but currently only has two, as Kashyap’s employment counts as the third, BBC reports.
There have been reports about her career-long absence by Indian new agencies, but Kashyap hasn’t come forward to explain herself. School officials believe she holds the country’s record for the most teacher absences.
“It is also unclear why she did not return to work or if she has been working elsewhere – correspondents say the fact her post remained empty so long says little for the competence of education officials,” BBC reports.
And Kashyap certainly isn’t the only teacher in India with chronic absence problems, according to the news site.
“A World Bank study in 2004 found that 25 percent of teachers were absent from school, and only about half were present during unannounced visits to government schools,” BBC reports.