Absconding teachers letting pupils down

HARARE - A recent head count by government on civil servants has exposed most employees who are in the habit of absconding from their work stations.

The head count has affected close to 3 000 civil servants, 1 000 of whom are teachers.

Affected teachers could even be more than this and it is a warning to all those teachers who managed to be at their work stations that they will easily lose their jobs if they are always absent from work.

The practice of absconding from work without leave approvals has for years been a cancer in schools, and mostly at rural school were teachers are in the habit of absenting themselves throughout the year.

In rural areas, most teachers are always away in towns on other business and only resurface towards the end of each month to receive their payslips and salaries.

Once they get paid, they disappear and this has been going on unabated.

Some teachers in rural areas are well known in villages where they join communities at beer parties popularly known as ndari where the traditional brew is sold.

And some of the teachers are in the habit of attending these during school-teaching hours.

At most schools, both rural and urban teachers are always absent without notice with most undertaking private degree studies at various universities that require them to physically attend lectures.

This has seen them disappearing from their work stations for weeks on end.

Headmasters are also among those who are always away from their work stations, albeit on the guise of attending to school work at the head or regional educational offices.

With headmasters regularly absenting themselves, teachers have had no one to monitor them, hence also go Awol.

Some teachers are known to be always travelling to neighbouring South Africa, others even to Tanzania or Botswana to buy goods for resale and they are doing this during normal working days.

School children have been the most affected as they are losing out on lessons meant to usher them into the next grades.

Some schools with habitual absentees have been forced to combine classes to cover-up for these absent teachers.

In most instances, students and pupils of these absent teachers have lost wholesome syllabuses and lessons which they will never recover.

Other parents sensing this have had to resort to offering their children extra holiday lessons so they can catch up with others receiving normal classes.

It is important for teachers to know that theirs is a day to day job in which they have to monitor students and pupils’ daily progress.

They have to plan everyday, mark books everyday and conduct revisions and tests, something which will not happen if they are always away from their work stations.

These teachers who absent themselves from schools contribute to the poor grades among students and pupils who have to compete with those receiving full attention.

It is good that government has finally intervened and conducted an audit and hopefully more of these impromptu visits would continue.

The district education officers dotted throughout the country should also spring into action and always monitor teachers’ attendance at schools.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.