Time to Teach

Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in The Gambia

Student and teacher during lesson in class


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 report cover page
UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
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