12 March 2024

Time to Teach

Quality education starts with teachers: they must be present and engaged for learning to take place. But teacher attendance rates remain alarmingly low in certain parts of Africa. When students are without teachers – an essential prerequisite to learning – they are less likely to meet foundational numeracy and literacy goals.  Low teacher…, Project reports, Countries involved in the study, The Time to Teach study gathers data from 21 countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa. The study draws on quantitative survey responses from over 3000 teachers, as well as from qualitative data collection, capturing the voices of educators, head teachers, community representatives, national and local level officials, teacher union…, Research objectives, The key objectives of the study were to: Identify factors, both within and outside the education system, that affect primary school teacher attendance and time on task in the eight countries covered Examine variations and commonalities in the determinants of teacher attendance in different national settings as well as in different types of schools…, Methods, Time to Teach takes a systems approach towards explaining teacher attendance and therefore examines the relevance of factors at all levels of the education system, including the national, sub-national, community, school, and teacher levels. The study also evaluates whether factors outside of the education system may have an important role to play…, Factors affecting teacher attendance, Education system factors Non-system factors Teacher monitoring Health Teacher training Family obligations Teacher salaries, benefits and career development Weather Teacher workload, recruitment and allocation Community infrastructure School resources and infrastructure Conflict, Promising practices and recommendations, Insights from the field on promising practices – i.e. interventions by governments and development partners that may have the potential to bring about positive change and sustainably improve teacher attendance and time on task.   Teacher monitoring Ensure that all head teachers in public and private schools have access to training courses and…, Potential solutions to external challenges, Collaboration between ministries of education, ministries of public works and transport, and local government  is especially important, as poor infrastructure in the community limits teachers’ ability to carry out their duties. Special attention needs to be given to providing reliable transportation and functioning roads to improve teacher school…, Recommendations for further research, Promising avenues for further research, which governments, development partners and researchers may consider, include the following: Strengthening the existing evidence base on the links between teacher allocation, their attendance, and student learning outcomes. Investing in more gendered analyses of absences. Expanding research on teacher…
01 June 2022

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.  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.
01 March 2020

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.