This might be why teachers are “missing in action”

I recently discussed the excellent “Missing in action: teacher and health worker absence in developing countries” in my graduate development class. The authors sent enumerators to conduct random visits to primary schools and health clinics in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru and Uganda to see if the teachers and doctors were present.  They found that, on average, “19 percent of teachers and 35 percent of health workers were absent.”

Of all the reasons they investigate for why teachers may not show up at school, the researchers forgot to test for the possibility of rampaging wild animals!  That would certainly cause teachers to think twice when deciding whether to go to school.

Here’s a link to a story yesterday from CNN.  The title pretty much tells you the gist of what happened: “3 mauled as leopard wreaks havoc at Indian school.”   The article states that “an estimated 1,500 leopards were in Karnataka state but that they rarely strayed far into urban areas.”  Rarely, but not never! Can’t be too safe.  Here is a picture of the incident:


I guess it’s better to be “missing in action” because you didn’t show up for the day than “missing in action” because you were killed by a leopard!