The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has released a list of main causes for teacher absenteeism in schools. The Commission treats Teacher Chronic Absenteeism as a serious offence that can lead to interdiction and disciplinary action.
According to TSC, Teacher absenteeism is characterized by Persistent/repeated absence from duty without permission and Lateness for duty.
In taking disciplinary action, the Commission requires the following pieces of Evidence from the Head of Institution:
- Casualty returns
- Letters from authorities reporting the teachers absence.
- Monthly staff returns.
- Warning/show cause letters for absenteeism.
- Daily attendance registers/clock in register.
After conducting a survey, recently, the Commission discovered that Illness was the main cause of teacher absenteeism in schools at 70 percent.
Other teachers skip lessons to attending burials while some have excess workload causing burn out.
Other reasons for teacher absenteeism include:
- Over committed salaries leading to stress and inability to travel to school,
- Domestic issues – marital/family disagreements,
- Following up issues at TSC offices,
- Low morale as a result of low pay and lack of promotions,
- Engaging in income generating activities; commonly known as side hustles,
- Insecurity more so in hardship areas,
- Running income generation activities,
- Engaging in politics and
- Confinement in police cell or prison.
To curb absenteeism the Commission introduced the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD).
Among the activities that have worked in TPAD is maintenance of daily school and teacher attendance registers are important documents or records for teachers’ accountability and proof of performance for both the appraisees and appraisers.
Maintenance of these records helps to keep track of appraisee performance in lesson attendance, lessons missed and lessons recovered.
Teacher’s Attendance Register is a document that records the regularity of teacher presence in school and in teaching. Teachers regularly sign this register as proof of their presence at school. It shows the number and nature of leave taken by teachers which include casual leaves, sick leaves, and leave without pay.