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close this bookPrimary Teacher Education in Action: A Peep into the TTC Classrooms at the National Teacher Training College, Lesotho (CIE, 2002, 42 p.)
close this folderChapter 1: Background and context
View the document1.1 Introduction
View the document1.2 Rationale
View the document1.3 Purpose of the Study
View the document1.4 Questions

1.1 Introduction

The National Teacher Training College (NTTC) has since its inception in 1975 and until recently, been the only institution in Lesotho that was charged with the responsibility of training teachers for the primary sub-sector. This situation changed when the National University of Lesotho (NUL) re-introduced a degree programme for primary school teachers through the part-time mode. For many years the College had the following programmes for the primary sub-sector: Primary Teacher Certificate (PTC), Advanced Primary Teacher Certificate (APTC) and Diploma in Primary Education (DPE). The last two were for serving teachers. In addition to these full-time programmes, the College offered part-time programmes such as PTC for teachers and Lesotho Inservice Education for Teachers (LIET) VI for principals of schools. NTTC (1997) notes that the need for programme rationalisation and reform had been felt at the College for a number of years. As a result, the College engaged a team of consultants to evaluate the primary teacher education programmes and at the same time engaged in a series of academic debates. The purpose for the academic debates was on how to reform the programmes. According to NTTC (1997:5), a conference held in 1995 “signaled that after 21 years of PTC programme provision, during which there had been little or no change, it was time to conduct a major review of all programmes provided by the Primary Division with a view to reform”. The debates referred to here and the consultancy study on Teaching and Learning Processes at NTTC (Burke & Sugrue, 1994) were some of the activities that contributed to the decision to reform the primary programmes. The major reform was to shift from certificates to diploma programmes for initial training, hence the introduction of the Diploma in Education (Primary) (DEP).

This new programme was intended to constitute a paradigm shift towards a more constructivist approach to knowledge and towards a view of the teacher as a “reflective practitioner”. Such a programme calls for both lecturers and their students to reflect systematically on teaching and learning processes. The DEP class size seems to be of the type that is suitable for the approach being promoted in the programme, as class sizes range between 32 and 33, compared with the PTC, which had 50 students for small group teaching.