|New Teachers on the Job: The Impact of Teacher Education in Lesotho (CIE, 2001, 36 p.)|
|Chapter 6: Views of the headteachers|
The headteachers were asked to comment on the needs for newly qualified teachers. They unanimously agreed that NQTs are a source of energy and new ideas Examples of the headteachers' views are listed below:
· NQTs are indeed a source of new ideas and energy.
· They (NQTs) are new brooms, so they must sweep clean. I accept them because they are qualified and trained teachers.
In their opinion, there is need to induct and provide support to the NQTs. The headteachers pointed out that NQTs need a warm welcome in the school; they need to be introduced to parents and have them respected. The headteachers' comment that "Ministry of Education should pay them on time" imply that the Ministry of Education does not issue newly employed teachers their first salary cheque on time and therefore this slack practice of paying teachers could contribute to de-motivating new teachers.
The headteachers also indicated that there is need for national induction programmes for NQTs. On their part as headteachers, they would have to provide the support that these newly qualified teachers might need especially as it concerns school and community relations, integration and interaction with old teachers and to reduce the tendency on the part of the new teachers to isolate themselves. In essence, the headteachers seem to suggest the need for an overall supportive environment from school, parents, pupils, community and the Ministry of Education itself. They also indicated that there is a need to provide these teachers with in-service training on areas of special education to enable NQTs to serve children with disability effectively.
Interviewees were asked to comment on the relationship between NQTs and a variety of the school stakeholders such as pupils, parents and the community. They indicated that on the whole, pupils have shown "good to very good" attitudes; and that usually pupils are friendly and cooperate well with the NQTs.
Most parents too were reported to have "good to very good" relationships with NQTs. On the other hand, there were some parents who disapproved of content taught by NQTs mainly in new subjects such as health education. The concern expressed was specifically on the teaching of reproduction and HIV/AIDS. Comments from the general members of the community were not as enthusiastic as comments of pupils and parents. It was said that some members of the community "are comfortable with NQTs," whereas some perceive them "as too young in age to be good teachers" and that sometimes negative views are expressed of NQTs. One criticism given was the "lack of professionalism" on the part of these young teachers.