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Sierra Leone Education Attendance Monitoring System (SLEAMS) Pilot

Under the FSQE policy, the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) commissioned CGA to design and implement a pilot teacher attendance monitoring system to tackle poor teacher attendance and address challenges to the integrity of the payroll. The objective of the Sierra Leone Education Attendance Monitoring System (SLEAMS) was to develop attendance monitoring tools and test them in different schools and settings, gather feedback and determine the best way of operating the system in a future national roll out.

The Government of Sierra Leone launched Free Quality School Education (FQSE) in 2018 to address decades of underfunding in the education system, which left it with multiple challenges and poor student learning outcomes.

Under this policy, the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) commissioned CGA to design and implement a pilot teacher attendance monitoring system to tackle poor teacher attendance and address challenges to the integrity of the payroll.

The objective of the Sierra Leone Education Attendance Monitoring System (SLEAMS) was to develop attendance monitoring tools and test them in different schools and settings, gather feedback and determine the best way of operating the system in a future national roll out.

We designed a simple Android app to capture two levels of reporting: 1, School-based self-reporting requiring School Leaders to record teacher attendance using biometric data every day; 2,
district-level inspections requiring district-level Deputy Directors and District Officers to carry out unannounced visits to observe teachers, offer support and collect their own attendance data. The app synchronises with a cloud-based database –
– where all stakeholders can monitor reporting, teacher attendance, and HR data.

SLEAMS piloted in 43 schools with 740 PIN and volunteer teachers across five Districts in July 2020. Attitudes toward the system were generally positive, particularly among 81% of pilot school leaders who, when questioned, said teacher attitude and behaviour improved during the pilot.

Analysis of data collected revealed: volunteer teachers comprised 29% of the teaching workforce; one in four teachers were absent from school every day; and 232 teachers reportedly not teaching at the school to which they were assigned on the payroll. It also revealed where potential savings could be made by strengthening the integrity of the payroll, both by introducing a sanctions policy to penalised teachers with prolonged unexplained absence, and by removing teachers from the payroll who have retired, died, left the profession or missing.

Our final report provided detailed recommendations for the design and rollout of a national system, including resource and human capacity requirements and changes in policy and administrative or management structures.

CGA’s successful implementation of SLEAMS led to the release of $100million in World Bank grant funding to Sierra Leone to improve the education system, teaching practices, and learning outcomes.

Output

Analysis of data collected revealed: volunteer teachers comprised 29% of the teaching workforce; one in four teachers were absent from school every day; and 232 teachers reportedly not teaching at the school to which they were assigned on the payroll. It also revealed where potential savings could be made by strengthening the integrity of the payroll, both by introducing a sanctions policy to penalised teachers with prolonged unexplained absence, and by removing teachers from the payroll who have retired, died, left the profession or missing.

Our final report provided detailed recommendations for the design and rollout of a national system, including resource and human capacity requirements and changes in policy and administrative or management structures.
CGA’s successful implementation of SLEAMS led to the release of $100million in World Bank grant funding to Sierra Leone to improve the education system, teaching practices, and learning outcomes.

Expertise

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