Thursday, April 23, 2015

Government Set To Reduce Absenteeism

Resultado de imagem para Armindo NgungaThe Mozambican Ministry of Education on Saturday launched a campaign n Maputo to reduce the levels of absenteeism in the country’s schools.Launching the campaign in Maputo’s Josina Machel Secondary School, in the presence of teachers and parents, Deputy Education Minister Armindo Ngunga said there is an unacceptably high level of absenteeism among both teachers and pupils. “We are urging that teachers must be present, and on time, in the classroom, because only thus can we improve the teaching and learning process in our education system”, said Ngunga.He took the opportunity to call for closer relation between the parents and the schools, in order to ensure greater control over the behaviour of pupils. He warned that the quality of education in Mozambique will only improve when parents and guardians, and society in general, take an interest in the day-to-day lives of the pupils. “There must be changes in our education”, Ngunga insisted. “Parents and guardians must pay attention to their children, to ensure that they go to school. The pupils should regard the school as their second home. They should leave the house ready to learn still more at school”. Ngunga stressed the need for society to set up mechanisms to encourage pupils to go to school. “In order to combat absenteeism in the schools, we have to provide incentives for our Mozambican students”, he said. “Society judges us by the behaviour of the pupils. So we have to educate them in the best possible way”. The teachers at the meeting, however, insisted that no improvement in the quality of education could be expected without improving the working conditions of teachers and paying them more. “We have asked the Ministry of Education to improve the teachers’ working conditions in order to motivate us in our jobs. We’re also asking for higher wages”, one teacher told the meeting. “There’s been a delay in raising the wages of teachers who already have an academic degree”. Ngunga replied that “the wages paid to teachers should not depend n their academic level but on the performance of each teacher”. The teachers believe that poor conditions and low wages lead to absenteeism. A recent study by the Ministry in 400 schools found an absenteeism rate as high as 60 per cent. That is, for every 10 days that a teacher should have been in the classroom, he was only teaching for four days. When the Ministry’s research teams visited the schools, they found that of the teachers present only a few were actually giving classes.

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