ArticlePDF Available

Malawi Primary School Teacher attrition from 1996 to 2011

Authors:

Abstract

The purpose of this analysis was to examine the causes of primary school teacher attrition between 1996 and 2011 in Malawi. Data collected by the Ministry of Education was used to extract the number of teachers leaving the profession along with the reasons for leaving by reasons and overall annual teacher attrition was calculated. Overall teacher attrition declined from 4.9% in 2004 to 4.0% in 2007. Mortality was the main cause of attrition since 1996, and it increased from 0.5% in 1996 to 1.8% in 2001 but declined to 1.2% by 2004 The finding of the analysis shows that primary Teacher attrition was highest (5.2 %) in 2004 for male teachers compared to females (4.5 %) and declined to 3.2% and 1.9% in 2007, respectively. Considering all the reasons for teacher attrition in percentage terms, about 33% of teacher attrition was caused by death in males and 40% in females from 2004 to 2007. The paper concludes that instead of seeing teachers leaving the system due to retirement and resignation, as has been the case many years, a number of teachers died in service and many also left due to dismissal and other reasons that are not known. This pattern needs to be checked and attended to if Malawi is to attain the Education for All Goals.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... They find themselves in communities where they are perceived as outsiders, which makes it difficult for them to remain in such communities. Consequently, rural areas are unattractive to teachers, who prefer to remain in the urban schools where they are trained (Blanks, 2016;Hummel et al., 2016;Ndala, 2015). ...
Article
Teachers are instrumental in promoting equitable access to education. In Malawi, Africa, teaching posts in rural schools go unfilled. This has culminated in discussions about appropriate ways to enhance teacher retention in rural schools. This research adopted Mason and Matas' four-capital model of teacher retention as a framework to study the predictors of teacher retention and job satisfaction. We recruited a total of 305 primary school teachers from 44 rural schools in 21 communities in two of Malawi's three regions. The data were entered into SPSS. Findings from a t-test, analysis of variance, correlations and linear and hierarchical regressions found a positive relation between social and structural capital in the retention model and that teacher retention correlated positively with job satisfaction, with education predicting retention. The article concludes by discussing the need for teacher educators to prioritise social and structural capital to promote rural education.
Full-text available
Technical Report
In communities, homes, schools and other learning institutions, the consequences of HIV and AIDS are already manifest daily. We might picture the situation as an ocean which seems calm on the surface, leading us to believe that not much is happening in this ocean. But deeper down, where the sea-creatures, the sharks and bottom-feeders live, much is happening. As fishermen and divers come back with stories of what is happening down below, and as bits and pieces of detritus wash up on the beach with each wave, we begin to have some idea of the true nature of the ocean before us.This note attempts to examine some of the evidence we now have about HIV/AIDS and education. It reviews some of our perceptions, and how they are being adjusted in ways that can help us respond more accurately to HIV/AIDS and education in Southern Africa.
Full-text available
Article
Our aim in this study was to examine the impact of HIV&AIDS on South African educators. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in public schools combining HIV testing and a face-to-face interview with participants from a nationally representative sample of public educators. The results show that HIV is highly prevalent among South African public educators (12.7%) and the educators who are absent from school for longer periods (20 days or more) compared with those who are absent for less than four days have higher HIV prevalence (16.8% vs 11.95%). Educators also spend time away from teaching while they attend funerals for colleagues who have died (6.7%), for family members (13.4%) and for members of their communities (47.6%). This makes them feel depressed (71%). These results suggest that HIV&AIDS has an impact on the quality of education. There is a need to prevent new HIV infections and reduce morbidity through the implementation of comprehensive integrated prevention and treatment programmes targeted at educators. There is also a need to support educators in coping with the problem of HIV&AIDS at work and in the community.
Full-text available
Article
The global spread of the HIV and AIDS pandemics will, for the next three generations at least, underline education access, quality and provision. Reforms within the sector will necessarily take account of the implications of this plague within national, provincial and local contexts. This article is based on several assumptions. The first is that HIV/AIDS is not only a medical problem: the spread of the disease has created a pandemic with social, economic, geopolitical and other consequences for all countries. Second, increasing numbers of countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, are now facing one of the great crises of human history. The third is that other countries in Eastern Europe and the Asia and Pacific regions will confront similar challenges as the pandemic spreads. The article focuses specifically on the relationship between HIV/AIDS and education in countries with different levels of HIV/AIDS prevalence. It concentrates on the impact of the disease on education at schools level, with some attention to teacher education. It outlines our current understanding of the pandemic, analyses current and anticipated impact of HIV/AIDS on education in order to clarify probable changes in demand for and supply of education services, and looks at education's current responses to HIV/AIDS, principally in high prevalence countries.
Full-text available
Article
This comprehensive meta-analysis on teacher career trajectories, consisting of 34 studies of 63 attrition moderators, seeks to understand why teaching attrition occurs, or what factors moderate attrition outcomes. Personal characteristics of teachers are important predictors of turnover. Attributes of teachers' schools, including organizational characteristics, student body composition, and resources (instructional spending and teacher salaries), are also key moderators. The evidence suggests that attrition from teaching is (a) not necessarily "healthy" turnover, (b) influenced by various personal and professional factors that change across teachers' career paths, (c) more strongly moderated by characteristics of teachers' work conditions than previously noted in the literature, and (d) a problem that can be addressed through policies and initiatives. Though researchers have utilized a number of national and state databases and have applied economic labor theory to questions related to teacher attrition, the authors argue that better longitudinal data on teacher career paths and more nuanced theories are needed.
Article
Teacher attrition is generally positioned within research addressing teacher shortage, the wastage of resources and expertise, as well as that concerning teachers’ lowly status and poor working conditions. As such the research is fragmented and diverse. This paper attempts to draw together contemporary international attrition research in order to consider: how teacher attrition may be defined; patterns of attrition; influences upon attrition; the impact of attrition; and strategies employed for decreasing attrition. It concludes that research concerning teacher attrition requires the development of more comprehensive databases on teaching personnel and increased clarity of how attrition is being framed and investigated.
Article
Contemporary educational theory holds that one of the pivotal causes of inadequate school performance is the inability of schools to adequately staff classrooms with qualified teachers. Contemporary theory also holds that these staffing problems are primarily due to shortages of teachers, which, in turn, are primarily due to recent increases in teacher retirements and student enrollments. This analysis investigates the possibility that there are other factors that might have an impact on teacher turnover levels, and, in turn, the staffing problems of schools, factors rooted in the organizational characteristics and conditions of schools. The data utilized in this investigation are from the Schools and Staffing Survey and its supplement, the Teacher Followup Survey, a large, comprehensive, nationally representative survey of teachers and schools conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The results of this analysis show that, net of teacher effects, there are significant effects of school characteristics and organizational conditions on teacher turnover which have largely been overlooked by previous research. For example, the data show that while high-poverty public schools have moderately higher rates, contrary to conventional wisdom, neither larger schools, nor public schools in large school districts, nor urban public schools have especially high rates of teacher turnover. In contrast, small private schools stand out for their high rates of turnover. Moreover, the data show, again contrary to popular wisdom, that the amount of turnover accounted for by retirement is relatively minor, especially when compared to that resulting from two related causes – teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers pursuing other jobs. The data show that, in particular, low salaries, inadequate support from the school administration, student discipline problems, and limited faculty input into school decision-making all contribute to higher rates of turnover, after controlling for the characteristics of both teachers and schools. The results of this investigation suggest that school staffing problems are neither synonymous with, nor primarily due to, teacher shortages in the conventional sense of a deficit in the supply of teachers. Rather, this study suggests that school staffing problems are primarily due to excess demand resulting from a "revolving door" – where large numbers of teachers depart their jobs for reasons other than retirement. This study also suggests that popular education initiatives, such as teacher recruitment programs, will not solve the staffing problems of such schools if they do not also address the organizational sources of low teacher retention.
Article
Teachers make their decision to leave the special education classroom for a variety of reasons. Comprehensive reviews of the teacher attrition literature suggest that researchers have been unable to clearly articulate why special education teachers leave the classroom. Furthermore, researchers know little about the effect of teacher attrition on individual schools and school systems because the majority of studies have failed to document teachers' exit paths. In this regard, we conducted phone interviews with 93 randomly selected Florida special education teachers who left the classroom. We designed the interview to determine their reasons for leaving the classroom, their current employment status, and their future career plans. Our results indicate that the largest portion of teachers who leave the classroom do so because they are dissatisfied with conditions of work. In addition, the majority of leavers remain in education. We discuss the implications of these findings for the special education field and make suggestions for retaining teachers in the special education classroom.