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

Ximena Játiva; Despina Karamperidou; Michelle Mills; Stefania Vindrola; Hanna Wedajo; Andrea Dsouza; Jessica Bergmann

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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. 

The study considers teacher attendance as multi-dimensional, in four distinct forms. Teachers were asked to about their attendance in relation to: (1) being school; (2) being punctual (arriving and leaving on time); (3) being the classroom; and (4) spending sufficient time on task. Evidence is drawn from national, system-wide qualitative data collection and school observations, and a quantitative survey of 1,673 teachers working in 234 purposively selected primary schools. While primary data were collected prior to the COVID-19 school closures (in the 2018/2019 school year), the study provides important insights on how the pandemic has exacerbated chronic challenges of education systems that impact teacher attendance and is therefore informative for policy, both in the current COVID-19 era and beyond.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 68 | Thematic area: Education, WCARO | Tags: central africa, education, teachers, west africa
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Guinea-Bissau

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Guinea-Bissau

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Teacher absenteeism is one of the most troubling obstacles on the path toward universal access to learning opportunities at school. Over the past decades, studies have found that teacher absenteeism is particularly prevalent in certain parts of Africa. While Guinea-Bissau has not administered or taken part in regional or international efforts to systematically monitor and assess the rates of teacher absenteeism, the issue is noted in the 2017–2025 Education Sector Plan, which includes an aim to strengthen controls on teacher absenteeism. This Time to Teach study seeks to fill this important knowledge gap and support the Ministry of National Education and Higher Education in its efforts to strengthen the teachers’ role in school to increase their time on task. This study outlines the various forms of primary school teacher absenteeism (e.g., absence from school, classroom, teaching, etc.), explores teacher absenteeism from a systemic perspective and identifies factors at different levels of the education system that affect teacher attendance and time on task. It also identifies gaps in teacher policy and policy implementation linked to identified determinants of absenteeism and barriers to higher teacher attendance rates, and identifies promising practices and actionable policy recommendations on increasing teachers’ time on task.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48
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