The Phenomenon Of Teacher Absenteeism

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The way people view things across the world is called a worldview. Worldview is ways of how people view the world and different beliefs, cultures or religion. Beliefs such as spiritual and science are the ones’s people say their own views or ideas about them. Some can say that God exists and others can say that God doesn’t exist. Worldviews guide and show people which good path to take in making decisions in life. There are three types of worldviews that play a big role in society and they are called modern Western, traditional African and Christian. These three types of worldviews also play a role in influencing how things should be done in the education world. Worldviews may include characteristics such as the way people look at things, understanding the reality a person get through guidance and orientation, etc. A worldview can be defined in several ways and it enables people to create their own ideas regarding things that might be happening across the world. Worldviews also influence people’s ideologies on how they think about a certain situation should be or how it should not be.

Education is the process of receiving knowledge and skills about things that a person doesn’t know, at school or university. Education is the key to everyone’s success and it is something that everyone has the right to be given. As education gives people an opportunity to succeed in life, it should be made a priority in schools. Education is one of the things people view in different ways. Some people may think that education is not the only weapon to get a good job in future but also luck can help someone get a good job. They may also think/say that a person can be educated and still not be successful in life. Others think that without education the key to a good job and a bright future. Its people’s different views on how they see education. In this essay, I am going to discuss the troubling issue of teacher absenteeism that is affecting South African education.

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Absenteeism itself is seen as an unprofessional thing to do of an employer and teacher absenteeism has become a serious issue in South African schools. This issue does not only affect the learner’s academics but also affects the school reputation. Teacher absenteeism can be influenced by the school’s administration by not demanding medical certificates. However, the schools Leave Policy forms may increase absenteeism by asking the teacher to fill in the form, it still becomes a serious issue in the South African schools. Teachers are no longer prioritizing education in schools and they no longer see any problem of being absent without a valid reason. The principals of schools especially in public schools are ignorant of the issue of teacher absenteeism and that is where the problem begins. The head of the school should be in charge and aware of what is happening in his/her school in order to be able to correct the wrongdoers.

Learners are affected in negative ways such as not being educated by people who are supposed to provide them education because they are always absent. Learners fail their grades due to a lack of knowledge of the things or topics they come across when writing their exams because their teachers were not able to cover them throughout the year as they have spent most of their days absent. Teacher absenteeism affects especially the grade 4 learners who are new to the curriculum and are introduced to new subjects which needs more time and focus for learners to be able to understand them. It has been estimated that when a teacher is absent for 10 days, it affects the learner’s Mathematics achievement by 3.3%. Learners will end up skipping classes and staying at the toilets because no teacher is going to recognize that they are not in class as their class teachers are not always present at school. This will eventually lead to dropouts or learners will no longer attend school because they will see no need of going to school knowing that they are not going to get the education they need. Teacher absenteeism leads learners to get of order or control in the classroom as there is no guidance from their teacher.

The Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga finally saw and mentioned this troubling issue as a very serious problem because it has risen from 8% to between 10% and 12%. This shows that teachers are not doing anything to decrease the absenteeism percentage but they are increasing the issue. Angie Motshekga also mentioned that the teachers from Limpopo, Gauteng and Western Cape are the provinces that have increases the percentage of teacher absenteeism as it has been shown that 6-7% of teachers were marked absent per day in Limpopo and Free State while Eastern Cape was 12% of teachers absent per day. This issue usually happens in public primary schools because teachers claim that primary work is not too much without realizing that they are the foundations of the learner’s future and being absent affect the learners very badly.

In conclusion, teachers should begin to take their job seriously although it’s not all teachers that be absent without valid reason. Principals together with the admin should work together in making sure that every absent teacher comes with a medical certificate or valid reason when he/she comes back to work and if a teacher doesn’t have any of those things mentioned they give him/her a written warning because where there is unity there is power. Teachers should also begin to think of the damage they cause to their learner’s achievement before thinking to be absent without valid reasons. Reducing the percentage of teacher absenteeism by being committed to providing the learners with the education they need would the best thing South African education has ever had.          

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