Management of educators' absenteeism in South African schools with specific reference to schools in Mafikeng Area Project Office
Kunjunjukutty, Thundiyil George John
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The purpose of the study is to determine whether absenteeism is a real concern amongst the educators in South African schools. Although there are sufficient and appropriate policies in place, the rate of absenteeism is on the increase on a daily basis. Through the literature and investigations, the study tries to unravel the causes of absenteeism and the solutions thereof. The study revealed that 66% of the educators abused the current leave policy. Great majority (64%) of the educators were in favour of the introduction of some form of incentives and seventy eight percent of the educators wanted the re-introduction of the accumulation of leave policy. Eighty four percent of the respondents also agreed that teacher absenteeism contributes to poor learner performance. Workload of educators was not a major contributing factor in the high rate of teacher absenteeism. Some of the reasons attributed to absenteeism are depression, redeployment, ill health, lack of motivation and self esteem, low salary, demoralizing learners and poor working conditions. All levels of educators suggested solutions to this ever-increasing problem, which is becoming difficult to manage. Recognition of least absenteeism, effective implementation of the policy, strong management team, motivating the staff, offering fringe benefits, organizing workshops to manage absenteeism and to equip educators and building team work are some of the noticeable and common solutions suggested by all levels of educators. The study recommends the re-introduction of accumulation of leave policy and linking the school database of educators with departmental database so that on a daily basis the leave statistics can be l:Jpdated and appropriate actions effected with out delay.