Next Steps in Managing Teacher Migration

Papers of the Sixth Commonwealth Research Symposium on Teacher Mobility, Recruitment and Migration

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The Sixth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium brought together education researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to share experiences from developed and developing countries both within and outside the Commonwealth. This collection of papers from the event examines current trends in teacher migration, including education in emergencies, forced migration and pan-African migration, in line with the current global focus on education in conflict affected countries.

Co-published with UNESCO.



Teacher attrition in Wolaita: The cases of domestic migration of Bolosso Sore and Damot Gale woredas

There have been calls to reframe attrition issues from the macro-level to a more manageable organisational level, with particular emphasis on districts and schools. Moreover, it has been noted that data from school administrators might be the most grounded and accurate measures of actual staffing problems at the school level. This study concentrates on two districts in Wolaita Zone of the Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Regional State of Ethiopia, gathering information from the directors and deputies of all 67 governmental primary schools in Damot Gale and Bolosso Sore. It concludes that although teacher attrition may be one of the problems within the educational system, it may not be as big a challenge as it is made out to be. In fact, it is possibly being used as a scapegoat for other underlying issues such as qualified but poorly trained teachers, inadequate teaching materials and the poor facilities of a country that is underdeveloped as a whole. Moreover, school management seemed to be looking for a panacea to be handed down from above, but ought to investigate less capital-intensive and more creative solutions that could both minimise staff attrition and mitigate its negative effects. Nevertheless, many schools have made commendable initiatives, such as building staff accommodation and classrooms with support from the community. Still, capacity has to be built and schools empowered more to seek their own solutions.


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