This paper looks at teacher’s contributions to access problems. The focus is on qualitative accounts of teacher contributions to access to schooling in four rural schools in the Winneba Municipality in Ghana. The main discussion is around how professional teachers’ attitudes and conduct in the classroom impacts on pupils remaining in school rates of completion and drop out.
How do teachers respond to irregular attendance? How do teachers identify the signs of dropping out of school? How do teacher attitudes and responses to drop out impact on children leaving or staying in school to complete? Teacher reactions to these signs are important in determining whether children remain in school to complete or drop out.
The paper focuses on teacher attendance, use of instructional hours and use of corporal punishment. It also focuses on how head teachers monitor and control pupils and teachers’ attendance records. It also describes how teacher’s classroom work impacts upon access.
The results show that teacher attitudes and behaviour are contributed to access problems. However, teachers did not perceive themselves as contributing to the problem of access. Teachers’ irregular attendance, lateness and absenteeism as well as misuse of instructional hours and indiscriminate use of corporal punishment were concerns pupils noted as contributing to irregular attendance and drop out. Poor supervision by head teachers was found to contribute to irregular teacher attendance, punctuality and absenteeism and these in turn impacted negatively on pupils’ access to schooling.
Finally, the study identifies gaps in research around teacher contribution to children dropping out of school and suggests how further research could address some of these.
CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Research Monograph Number 43, ISBN: 0-901881-50-3, 42 pp.