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Time to Teach: Teacher Absenteeism in Africa


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A presentation from the CIES 2019 Time-to-Teach Panel
CIES Conference
April 17, 2019
San Francisco

Published in: Education
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Time to Teach: Teacher Absenteeism in Africa

  1. 1. Time to Teach Teacher Absenteeism in Africa CIES Conference 17 April 2019
  2. 2. Introduction What is Time to Teach (TTT)? A multi-country research initiative that investigates the determinants of teacher absenteeism in primary and secondary schools in 20 African countries Partners National governments, UNICEF regional and country offices, UNICEF OoR, Donors (DFID, Gates Foundation, World Bank, MasterCard), national research institutes Project timeline September 2017 - December 2019
  3. 3. Geographic coverage Participating countries (20): 8 in ESAR: Mozambique, Rwanda, Kenya, Comoros, Somalia (Puntland), Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda 11 in WCAR: Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Gabon, Guinea, Togo, Guinea-Bissau 1 in MENA: Morocco
  4. 4. Rationale Teacher absenteeism is a widespread phenomenon In some sub-Saharan African countries: 14% - 45% absent from school 21% - 56% absent from class
  5. 5. Rationale Teacher absenteeism is an efficiency issue The loss of teaching hours = waste of approx. 0.46 cents in every dollar invested in education = 1-3% GDP loss
  6. 6. Rationale Teacher absenteeism is a major element of the ineffectiveness of education systems Improving teacher motivation and curbing teacher absenteeism are key priorities of national governments • Rwanda – Education Sector Strategic Plan (2013-2018) • Mozambique – National campaign against TA (2015) • Uganda – Teachers Incentives Framework (2017) • Kenya - New TSC salaries and grading system for teachers (2018); New teacher M&E scheme (TPAD)
  7. 7. Objectives Identify the determinants of teacher absenteeism Provide country-specific policy recommendations Develop a regional knowledge base and encourage cross-country learning
  8. 8. The concept: Multi-dimensional teacher absenteeism 1. Absence from school 2. Absence of punctuality 3. Absence from classroom 4. Absence from teaching 5. Absence of content & pedagogical knowledge Teacher Absenteeism School absence Absence of punctuality Classroom absence Teaching absence Absence of content and pedagogical knowledge
  9. 9. Explanatory model
  10. 10. Research Questions Which factors at different levels of the education system can lead teachers to be absent in various ways? Do different factors influence the propensity of teachers to absenteeism in different countries? How can the different types of teacher absenteeism be addressed?
  11. 11. Data collection 1. Desk review Existing literature on teacher motivation and absenteeism; teacher management policies; education statistics 2. Fieldwork (20 schools/country) • Semi-structured interviews and focus groups • MoE officials (6) Sub-national officials (20) • Community representatives (20) Head teachers (20) • Teachers (60) Students (140) • Paper-based survey • Teachers (≃300)
  12. 12. Sampling Stage 1: School selection • 20 schools in 20 different communities covering multiple regions in each country • A balanced mix of government (public), non-governmental (private and faith) schools • A balanced mix of urban, peri-urban and rural areas Stage 2: Respondent selection • National & Sub-national respondents: Position; knowledge of teacher management issues • Community representatives: knowledge of sample schools and school staff (PTA members) • Teachers: gender; age; contract type; and years of experience • Students: grade (age 11-13) and gender
  13. 13. Data Analysis Methods Qualitative Thematic content analysis (TCA) 1. Identify themes 2. Assign codes to themes (coding manual) 3. Organize data by code/theme; study theme frequency; compare & contrast themes Quantitative Statistical analysis • Generate statistical profiles of teachers in sampled schools • Supplement & triangulate interview and FGD data
  14. 14. Outputs One national report for each participating country A regional (synthesis) report International conference to disseminate findings
  15. 15. Timeline Inception (Sept. 2017- Feb. 2018) Trainings /Pilots (March – June 2018) Data collection (July – December 2018) Data Analysis / Report Drafting (December 2018 – June 2019) TTT Conference (July 2019)