Like Melanie, I also wonder why education authorities (EAs) and school managements do little or nothing about the issue of teacher absenteeism in schools. I believe there is a need to put in place a Performance Management System for teachers in our education system, just like in any other profession that have a mechanism for monitoring their employees work performance and attendance to work. Having such a system in place would ensure that School managers (Principal, D/Principals & HODs) monitor their teachers' performance and attendance to work on a regular basis (monthly/quarterly/per term) and send a report to their respective EAs, who should then deal with any cases of poor performance and teacher absenteeism. Such a system should also allow EAs to monitor School Principals performance and attendance to work.
Maybe there is a staff appraisal and reporting system in existence in our current education system, but it is not being effectively implemented by school managers and EAs. I think that there is a need to review and upgrade the current teacher appraisal and management system to an effective Teacher Performance Management package that spells out clearly the lines of communication within schools, and between schools, EAs and the MEHRD, in regards to teacher performance. As well, such a system should clearly spell out the actions to be taken against teachers who perform poorly and are absent from classes for unjustified reasons. I think if the MEHRD and EAs establish a teacher performance management system for our schools and ensure that such a system is factored into the school culture in our country, then we might see a change in the way teachers commit themselves to their teaching roles.
Furthermore, to ensure that teachers improve in their teaching performance and develop professionally, there is a need to provide teachers with continuing professional development opportunities throughout their teaching career. Such professional development programmes should be carried out on a regular basis, in order to help teachers learn in and from their teaching experiences. This should improve teachers' performance and motivate them to carry out their jobs with commitment.
I believe that if our education system adopts an effective teacher performance management system, along with a performance-based pay package, and provide teachers with the professional support they need to carry out their job effectively, it will boost the performance of teachers and the retention of good teachers in our education system.
Monitoring and Enhancing Teacher Performance
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Patricia Rodie and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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