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Absence, Lateness and why Ghana teachers actually love technology!

3 February 2020

Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!

Every Monday we summarise our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.

We’ve got lots of teachers in Ghana using our app, but we need your help to get even more. Please send our website to all the teachers you know and encourage them to download the app and start using it. We especially want as many teachers as possible to access all the great content we’ve got planned for…

🥳 CPD Day! 🥳

CPD Day is on Thursday 20th February and entitles all teachers in Ghana to a day in school focused on their own professional development. As CPD for teachers in Ghana is our main mission, we’re busy getting the following things ready for you:

  • Resources for introducing your colleagues to Teacher Tapp, so they can access free high quality CPD every single day
  • Articles for you and your colleagues to read in the days before CPD Day and some resources to help you run a discussion about them
  • Resources for how you can use Teacher Tapp to build a culture of regular CPD discussions into your staff activities

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to the date. For now, here are the most fascinating findings from the past week….

1 . Student lateness is a problem

We asked you whether student lateness and absence disrupts your teaching practice. A staggering 81% of you told us that it does.

As 69% of you recently rated attendance at your school as ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’, we’re guessing that you were thinking mainly about student lateness when you answered this question.

Lateness may not seem like as much of an issue as student absence, but it causes a lot of the same problems. It increases teacher workload and teacher stress. It also irritates teachers as it can be interpreted as students not valuing your subject or hard work.

Lateness of course causes problems for students too – they miss out on valuable learning, which can be difficult to catch up on. This makes school more difficult and can turn students who are frequently late into students who simply don’t come into school at all.

In order to help you with finding a solution to student lateness in your school, we’ll need to understand it a bit better. For example, are students mainly late for the first lesson of the day? Or are students mainly late for lessons that fall later in the school day? In each case, a different solution is required. We’ll be asking you these questions over the coming weeks to help with this.

2 . Staff absences are a problem too

Student lateness and absences may cause problems, but teacher absences can cause even more. This week we asked you some questions about your absences from work and were amazed at some of the results.

Firstly, nearly half of you have lied to your school about the reason you’re unable to come into work. This figure may actually be even higher, but our users might be uncomfortable telling us about their previous misdeeds.

Your reasons for lying make sense when we look at some of the reasons why you and other teachers have been absent from work. Sickness, whether personal or that of a relative, was the most common reason for absence. But nearly 1-in-5 of you have missed a day of teaching to take on other paid work or through lack of motivation to teach.

We’ve heard from some of our users in Ghana that the low salaries for teachers in Ghana mean that taking on work other than teaching can sometimes be the only way to pay the bills. Such work include private tutoring, marking exams or doing agricultural labour. Because of the negative impact that teacher absences have on students, this is a strong argument for the need to increase teacher pay.

Teachers missing school due to lack of motivation is what is sometimes called ‘burnout’. Burnout is a serious problem as it can lead to teachers being unable to do their jobs properly. This makes teaching even more challenging and can lead to individuals leaving the profession forever. This is not good for teachers or students.

One of the best solutions to burnout is to prevent it happening in the first place. That’s why this week we’ll be sharing some great tips on how you can make sure your stress levels are under control and you’re taking your own personal wellbeing seriously. We’ll also be asking more questions on the issue so we can better understand it and provide further suitable help.

Download the Teacher Tapp App today!

If you liked our great findings and want to to get them sent to you weekly, then download our app below! You’ll also get access to free, high quality CPD articles and get to answer questions that will be used to change the education system in Ghana for the better.

Just use these download links to download our free app and get started today.

Onto our final finding for this week…

3 . You love technology!

A couple of weeks ago you told us you prefer textbooks to technology. So we were very surprised to find out this week that you generally have a very positive attitude towards technology in the classroom.

Nearly 60% of you told us that you have personal computers in your school, while nearly a third of you also have access to an Android tablet as well. You must have had a positive experience with this technology in your school, because 93% of you told us you believe this technology is good value for money!

Educational technology can be very expensive. This means that 93% of you must get a lot of use out of it, because you believe it is worth the money spent. It is also possible that classroom teachers don’t have a very clear idea on how much educational technology costs as purchases are handled by management. But we’ll trust you this time!

73% of you also told us that you feel very confident in using educational technology in the classroom. This is a very high figure. When we asked teachers in the UK the same question last year, only 26% of teachers had the same strength of confidence in using technology in the classroom.

This could suggest that teachers in the UK have had more negative experiences with educational technology, reducing their confidence in it. This would make sense as technology has been used in schools in the UK for a longer period of time, meaning there have been more opportunities for teachers to use it wrongly or to have technology let them down. This would reduce their confidence in using it.

Meanwhile, in Ghana, technology has been introduced to the classroom only quite recently. This means that teachers in Ghana haven’t had enough time using technology to experience it letting them down. After all, 33% of you told us that you have no tablets or computers in your school.

The good news is that teachers in Ghana are in a position to get technology in the classroom right and avoid some of the mistakes that have been made in the UK. This is especially important as 55% of you told us that you believe Computing is the most important subject for your students to learn to get them ready for the 21st century.

4. Finally, we know you’re finding our daily readings useful, so here are all of the ones from last week…

Download the Teacher Tapp App today!

If you liked our great findings and want to to get them sent to you weekly, then download our app below! You’ll also get access to free, high quality CPD articles and get to answer questions that will be used to change the education system in Ghana for the better.

Just use these download links to download our free app and get started today.