A review of the use of contract teachers in sub-Saharan Africa
Various types of contracted teachers are now active in national education systems around the world, even in high-income OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. But the phenomenon has taken on more significant proportions in low-resource countries and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. While teaching contracts were initially drawn up to meet teacher shortages in the post-independence period, they have been increasingly called upon to respond to larger student enrolments and lower pupil/teacher ratios under universal primary education (Kingdon, Aslam, Rawal, Das, 2012). As a result, the teaching corps in sub-Saharan Africa is now composed of individuals with a diverse range of profiles, qualifications, types of preparation and professionalization.
Yet in spite of the rapid rise in the number of contract teachers, and with up to 65% of teachers at primary level hired on a contract basis in some sub-Saharan African countries, relatively little research has been carried out on contracting practices enabling decision-makers and stakeholders to better understand their impact and make informed choices in relation to education policy. This study was a first step in filling this gap by documenting contract teacher practices across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.