Time to teach. The Gambia
In many low- and middle-income countries, teacher absenteeism is an important barrier to achieving learning outcomes. In The Gambia, existing evidence suggests that teacher absenteeism has been consistently challenging as the country continues to respond to rapid expansions in primary school enrolment. The education system in The Gambia had started to show improvements before the pandemic; however, the challenges this major sanitary and economic crisis has imposed on children’s learning makes teacher attendance even more relevant today.
The Time to Teach study seeks to support the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in its efforts to strengthen the role of teachers in schools 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: (1) being in school; (2) being punctual (i.e., not arriving late/leaving early); (3) being in the classroom (while in school); and (4) 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.