Reducing Teacher Absenteeism: Solutions for Africa

Teacher absenteeism is a growing problem and one of the key challenges facing the pursuit of quality education in schools in Africa. A teacher in the classroom is an important but insufficient prerequisite for improving learning achievement. However, absenteeism significantly prejudices the learning outcomes of the children in the classroom, demoralizes school organizational culture and represents a significant waste of financial public and private resources. In African education systems that often operate on scarce resources with weak management systems, innovative models on how to effectively address teacher and learner absenteeism are yet to be fully realized.

This brief is developed in anticipation of exploring possible models that focus on accounting for the attendance of teachers in class using technologies and other management tools. The brief assesses the scope of the challenge and highlights promising initiatives that deserve further exploration and research. In doing so it intends to position ADEA to undertake a pilot study in one or more countries to push the boundaries on what is contextually possible on a system wide scale and provide catalytic information for other countries to follow suit.