|Initial Primary Teacher Education in Lesotho (CIE, 2002, 142 p.)|
|Chapter 6: The National Teacher Training College and its Tutors|
The Primary Division at NTTC, although headed by a male Assistant Director, was manned by predominantly (66%) female staff. Just over half the tutors were between the ages of 36-45 years, and another third were older, with six being over 50. The females tended to be slightly older than their male counterparts. Most were Lesotho nationals, but there were four expatriates, one from India and the other three from other African countries.
All but two of the staff were graduates with a third of them holding Masters degrees. A third of the tutors did not have any professional qualifications, and these tended to be in the younger age bracket. The two non-graduates, and some of those without teaching qualifications, taught practical subjects. Five were Senior Lecturers, and the rest in lower ranks, that is, Lecturers and Assistant Lecturers.
Most of the tutors had gone through several training stages, often interspersed with periods of school teaching, as opportunities opened up or as higher qualifications were demanded. Typically, they trained at NTTC - only four had attended the former church related colleges - and later went to NUL to do a B.Ed degree. Some then proceeded to pursue M.Ed. either at NUL or abroad.
The decision to teach at NTTC was in most cases taken by the individual concerned. Typically, they answered an advertisement, and were then interviewed by the Public Service Commission. Tutors gave a variety of reasons for applying for work at the College. Some just wanted a change, others saw this as a chance to further their studies. One or two were so keen to join NTTC that they accepted posts in departments or divisions other than the ones in which they had applied or for which they were qualified. A teaching job at the NTTC is perceived as being of a higher status, and to be less stressful, than school teaching, and most agreed that 'my friends think I am lucky to be a lecturer'.
Most tutors were trained as secondary teachers, with only 40% having some primary teaching experience. Some said they ended up in the Primary Division because of staff shortages there. Overall, few of these tutors have their roots, or their interest, in primary education. Indeed, the survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed that 'most tutors do not know much about teaching primary pupils'. This is a worrying situation, particularly because there seems to be a tendency for the younger tutors to be even more oriented towards secondary education than their older counterparts.