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Hanna Wedajo

Education Researcher (Teachers) (Former title)

Hanna Wedajo is an education researcher at the UNICEF Office of Research, working on the Time to Teach (TTT) project. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) program at the University of Minnesota and an ICGC (Interdisciplinary Center for the study of Global Change) fellow. She has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a master’s degree in human rights from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. She is a qualitative researcher and has worked on a range of education research projects in Sub-Saharan African countries, including girls’ and marginalized children’s education, educational quality and equity, youth’s aspirations, and gender-based violence in higher education institutions.


Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in West and Central Africa

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in West and Central Africa

Teachers are the most important drivers of students’ academic achievement and they are at the heart of learning recovery efforts. Finding out the bottlenecks and necessary conditions for ensuring teachers’ presence at school and in the classroom is essential. Time to Teach is a mixed methods research initiative that aims to find out the contextual, working conditions and policy factors impeding primary school teacher attendance in 11 West and Central African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia, and Togo.


Children participate in class at a UNICEF-supported school in Adikeyeh, Tigray region, Ethiopia.

Perspectives from an Ethiopian student turned education researcher

Aiming to move beyond the quantification of attendance and time on task, the Time to Teach study introduces a conceptual model of multi-dimensional teacher absenteeism. Where, for learning to occur, teachers do not only need to (1) be at school, but they also need to (2) be punctual (i.e., not arriving late/leaving early), (3) be in the classroom (while at school), and (4) spend sufficient time on task (while in the classroom).