When teachers are absent: where do they go and what is the impact on students?
Recent studies on education service delivery, including the World Development Report 2004 published by the World Bank, have begun to focus on the problem of teacher absenteeism. This report provides an overview of the results of a survey on primary education services in Indonesia, focusing on teacher absentee rates and the impact on student learning processes. This survey is the first detailed study on the phenomena of teacher absenteeism in Indonesia obtained from two unannounced visits to 147 sample schools in October 2002 and March 2003. The survey shows that the teacher absence rate in Indonesia is approximately 19%, which is considerably higher than that of other developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Teacher absence is related to individual and workplace characteristics such as education levels, poverty rates, and the location of schools. We found that teacher absenteeism is statistically significant and negatively correlates with the performance of their students. This report also identifies several relevant and important policy recommendations to reduce the teacher absence rate, such as the adequacy of a school's physical facilities, teacher employment status, and a monitoring system.
SMERU Field Report April 2004, SMERU, Jakarta, Indonesia, 32 pp.