|Teaching Practice at the National Teacher Training College in Lesotho (CIE, 2001, 49 p.)|
|Chapter 3: Background to the Study|
The second consultancy study commissioned by MOE was undertaken by Hopkin in 1996, to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current Teaching Practice model and its organisation. The report found the basic structure and duration of the programme to be sound, but pointed out that it had low status within the college, being run by assistant lecturers with little time allocated for the job. From a curriculum perspective it was poorly integrated, such that the trainees' experiences were not used to inform the Year 3 courses.
The report found a number of weaknesses in the administration and organisation of TP. The number of supervision visits by tutors was found to be 'totally inadequate' (Hopkin, 1996:11), impacting on student morale and contributing to the unreliability of assessment. There was little collaboration between the college and the schools. Documentation and record keeping was poor. Other problems concerned the low level of student allowances and the paucity of teaching and learning materials in schools. In short, the main objectives of the TP programme were not being achieved.
The report made a number of short and medium term recommendations, among which were:
· Revision of documents such as the Teaching Practice Handbook and assessment forms.
· Establishment of a Teaching Practice Department
· Enhanced liaison with schools, including workshops for all concerned
· Better arrangements for supervision by tutors
· Establishment of a Department of instructional Materials to help students prepare for TP
The present enquiry tried to find out how far these recommendations had been implemented and its findings are discussed below.