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Time to teach

Time to teach

Teachers attending lessons and spending sufficient time on task is a critical prerequisite for learning in school. Yet, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism is as high as 45 per cent. Time to Teach identifies factors affecting teacher attendance and uses this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies in twenty African countries. Drawing from both quantitative and qualitative data on a range of topics—from motivation to retention—this research aims to identify solutions for sustainable change. Established in 2017, the project is a collaboration between UNICEF Innocenti, UNICEF regional and country offices, national governments, local research partners, DFID, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard Foundation.

Publications

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Niger
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Niger

L’absentéisme des enseignants représente l’un des principaux défis pour parvenir à l’apprentissage universel dans de nombreux pays en développement, où les taux d’absence des enseignants varient de 3% à 27%. Une fois dans la salle de classe, les enseignants ne consacrent que 77% de leur temps prévu aux tâches d’enseignement. Dans l’environnement post COVID-19, il y a inquiétude que l’ampleur des répercussions sociales et économiques de la pandémie n’aggrave encore ces chiffres. Bien que le défi de l’absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs locaux de l’éducation, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants au Niger restent rares. L’étude Time to Teach (TTT) cherche à combler ce manque de connaissances.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Guinea-Bissau
Publication Publication

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

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.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in The Gambia
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in The Gambia

The international standards for teaching time in a year are 880 hours. In The Gambia, dedicated teaching time in a year is 734 hours. This reduced time is exacerbated by teacher absenteeism that varies across the different regions in the country from 12 to 30%, and is a barrier to achieving the required learning outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding an already compromised learning and teaching environment in The Gambia. This Time to Teach study looks at four dimensions of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual (i.e., not arriving late/leaving early); being in the classroom (while in school); and spending sufficient time on task (while in the classroom). It also identifies factors associated with teacher absenteeism at five different levels of the education system: national, subnational, community, school, and teacher. This report provides recommendations that may help strengthen the ministry’s efforts to improve teachers’ time on task in The Gambia. .
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and Time on Task in West and Central Africa – Summary
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and Time on Task in West and Central Africa – Summary

In sub-Saharan Africa, the loss of teaching hours due to teacher absenteeism corresponds to a waste of approximately 46 cents for every US dollar invested in education, an annual wastage of 1–3% of GDP. This brief summarizes the results of research in 11 countries in West and Central Africa under the Time to Teach study, a project in UNICEF that aims to provide critical insights into the factors that underpin different forms of primary school teacher absenteeism. It explains the frequency of teacher absenteeism in four forms—absence from school, lateness or early departure, absence from the classroom, and reduced time on task – and the reasons teachers give for their absence. But teachers are also motivated by factors such as training, availability of teaching and learning resources, and other non-system factors. More details are available in the country reports.
Time to Teach: Assiduité des enseignants et temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires aux Comores
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Assiduité des enseignants et temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires aux Comores

L’absentéisme des enseignants constitue un obstacle important à la réalisation d’une éducation universelle de qualité. Il est de plus en plus évident que l’absentéisme des enseignants constitue un problème particulier dans les pays à faible et moyen revenu du monde entier, les taux d’absentéisme scolaire des enseignants variant entre 15 et 45 % en Afrique subsaharienne. Aux Comores, les études existantes suggèrent que l’absentéisme des enseignants est une préoccupation latente depuis des années. Cependant, la recherchesur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui affectent la présence des enseignants restent rares. L’étude « Time to Teach » (TTT) vise à combler ce fossé de connaissance.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools South Sudan
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools South Sudan

The Government of South Sudan, through the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) and its development partners, has made efforts over the past decade to rebuild South Sudan’s primary education system. Challenges to the delivery of education have persisted, both within the education system and external to it.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Tanzania
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Tanzania

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving quality education in many low- and middle-income countries globally, where teachers’ school absence rates range from 3 per cent to 27 per cent. Tanzania Mainland has made significant progress in achieving universal primary education and improving the quality of education. Since 2002, access to primary education has expanded exponentially. Yet, quality of learning outcomes remains a challenge. One of the key factors for the provision of quality education is teacher attendance. While many reasons for teachers’ absenteeism appear to be valid, such as lack of reliable transport and bad climate conditions, other causes are hard to justify, such as when teachers fail to prepare for lessons. Time to Teach (TTT) targets this knowledge gap. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher-related policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct forms of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Zanzibar
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Zanzibar

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving quality education in many low- and middle-income countries globally, where teachers’ school absence rates range from 3 per cent to 27 per cent. Over the past few decades, Zanzibar has implemented a number of policy reforms and made tremendous progress in expanding access to primary education. Yet, the quality of learning outcomes remains weak. One of the major factors hindering the provision of quality education is teacher absenteeism, which is a prevalent phenomenon across primary schools. Time to Teach (TTT) targets this knowledge gap. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher-related policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct forms of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Puntland, State of Somalia
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Puntland, State of Somalia

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving national educational goals in many low- and middle-income countries, where teacher absence rates range from 3 to 27 per cent. While there is no data available from Puntland, State of Somalia (hereafter Puntland) on teacher absenteeism trends, regional cases suggest this is a chronic problem facing many schools throughout Africa, with an average of 15 to 45 per cent of all primary school teachers absent from the classroom on any given day. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education is beginning to increasingly prioritize the role of the teacher in the provision of effective time on task, and thus, has taken measures to deter teacher absenteeism. The Time to Teach (TTT) study seeks to address this knowledge gap. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various dimensions of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct dimensions of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Rwanda
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Rwanda

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving quality universal education. There is mounting evidence that teacher absenteeism is a challenge in low- and middle-income countries around the globe. The rates of teacher absence in these countries varies between 3 to 27 per cent. Within these average national prevalence rates, it is suspected that absenteeism may be higher in poorer, rural areas. Due to a dearth of research on teacher absenteeism, the consequences of this phenomenon are not fully evident. However, it is clear that countries are losing valuable resources they channelled into their education systems. This study moves beyond the conventional conception of teacher absenteeism—that of absence from school—to include other forms of absenteeism. The reasoning behind such a broad framing is that increasing evidence shows that school attendance does not necessarily equate to other forms of presence, including punctuality, being in the classroom, teaching for the proper duration, and teaching effectively.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Kenya
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Kenya

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving quality education in many low- and middle-income countries globally, where teachers’ school absence rates range from 3 per cent to 27 per cent. In Kenya, where primary education has made remarkable improvements in recent years, teacher absenteeism remains a foremost challenge for the education system. In 2102, the World Bank estimated the average rate of teacher absenteeism from schools across the country at 15 per cent and the average rate of teacher absenteeism from the classroom at 42 per cent. A 2016 study conducted in 4,529 Kenyan primary schools found that on average, one in ten teachers was absent from school and that half of all schools had a teacher absenteeism rate in excess of 10 per cent. While the stark numbers are available, the evidence base on what factors, policies and practices affect teacher attendance in Kenya remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) targets this knowledge gap. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher-related policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct forms of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Uganda
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in in primary schools in Uganda

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving learning outcomes in many low- and middle-income countries, where teacher school absence rates range from 3 to 27 per cent. In Uganda, primary education has achieved several milestones resulting in significant gains, including over 90 per cent literacy rate throughout the different districts, 94 per cent of the teaching force trained, and ongoing commitment from the Ministry of Education and Sports towards enhancing the provision of education. Uganda has also achieved gender parity in primary school enrolments, which in 2016 was at 84.1 per cent for girls and 83.3 per cent for boys. There are, however, ongoing challenges that put pressures on current gains and future goals. UNICEF Uganda estimates at least 60 per cent of Uganda's teachers are not present in the classroom at half of all public schools. Regional observations indicate teacher absence is a much larger issue in Uganda than other neighbouring countries, and that their subject knowledge is lower, comparatively. The Time to Teach (TTT) study seeks to support the ministry in its efforts to strengthen teachers’ role in the school in order to increase their time on task. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various dimensions of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct dimensions of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
2018 Results Report
Publication Publication

2018 Results Report

In 2018, significant gains were made in generating evidence to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children, build organizational capacity to conduct and use quality, ethical research on children, and set a foundation as an important convening centre for expert consultation on next-generation ideas on children. 2018 marks the first year the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is reporting on the progress of research under the new UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2021). This plan is the first to clearly delineate the role of research and evidence as one of the eight priority change strategies for children. This report therefore is an account of the first year of work to generate critical evidence to inform programmes, policies and advocacy for children and young people around the world