NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 10/05/2013
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 12/2013)
Ms M L Moshodi (ANC-FS) to ask the Minister of Basic Education: [(93]
Whether her department has undertaken an assessment of (a) absenteeism
of educators and (b) the effects of educator absenteeism on learning
and the achievements of learners in this regard; if not, why not; if
so, (i) how much time is lost by each educator in each year and (ii)
what (aa) strategies and (bb) control measures is her department
planning to implement to address educator absenteeism? CW232E
a) The Department commissioned a comprehensive study on educator leave in
2009 (Report was published in 2010) covering not only the statistics
on the actual absence, but also evaluation how the teacher leave is
managed and administered at all levels. The study analysed recorded
leave data on PERSAL and the data collected through visits to a sample
of schools. As part of the analysis, the findings of the Khulisa Audit
study conducted in 2008 were also used as a proxy measure.
b) Yes. Noting that any form of unplanned absence or loss of learning and
teaching time that is not recoverable within the school calendar
constraints has an effect on learner achievement. The study, however,
found that educators tended to utilise the full extent of all forms of
leave that were allocated in terms of the leave prescripts. For
instance, educators would use all their days allocated for sick leave,
and family responsibility. The issue is therefore the extent to which
the time lost is recoverable to enable full curriculum coverage.
i) The study concluded that the absentee rate was estimated at about 8%.
This rate covered all forms of absence which included leave taken in
terms of the leave prescripts, attendance of official activities such
as workshops and meetings, undertaking official duties away from
schools excursions and sports trips. The 8% rate was reached after
discounting 0.5% representing maternity leave after finding that
schools were generally successful in finding replacement educators.
This translates on average to 16 days of instructional time being lost
by each educator per school calendar year.
ii) (aa) The strategies being implemented and considered include improving
the management and administration of educator leave at school level
and the capturing of and analysis of leave on PERSAL.
(bb) One of the control measures include investigating systems to
monitor teacher attendance that can be used to verify and augment the
operational information on leave from the PERSAL system and also
provide timely and reliable management information on teacher