The national department of basic education has recognised absenteeism as “a serious problem”. The problem is persistent at both primary and high schools. A recent Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) report indicated that one-third of teachers reported absent during 2014. “Absenteeism of 20 days or more was reported predominately among whites (21.4%), those aged 18-24 years (39.2%), teaching in urban informal areas (17.1%) and in the Northern Cape (28.4%).” An earlier study commissioned by Unicef found that schools in poorer areas suffered the most.
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