|Who Becomes a Primary School Teacher in Lesotho: Characteristics and Experiences of the DEP Student Teachers upon Entry into NTTC (CIE, 2002, 49 p.)|
|Chapter 3: Data Analysis And Interpretation|
Student teachers were asked to comment on possible challenges facing the teaching profession. The data indicates that the teaching profession faces a number of challenges or problems. These range from classroom experiences such as methods of teaching and of assessing teaching; student behaviour; competence in using English language as a medium of instruction and teaching all subjects regardless of whether or not one is competent in teaching such subjects. Other problems were seen as community perceptions about the profession, opportunities for in-service education and advancing ones career, and poor conditions of work.
3.14.2 The future of education in the next ten years:
Asked to comment on how they thought education would change in the next ten years, student teachers expressed hope that the training of teachers will improve such that every student will be able to speak English fluently. Performance in schools will and, consequently, education standards as a whole would improve. Moreover, student teachers would acquire skills to handle student discipline and therefore reduce/abolish corporal punishment. Student teachers were also of the view that improved teaching would enable products of such programmes to provide education that is relevant to community needs. This particular response seems to be an answer to the concern expressed by the Parents in Education association, that education does not produce students with inquisitive minds.
Student teachers also hoped that teaching facilities and conditions of teaching service would improve and contribute to the better standards of education. To the respondents, better provision of education would be realized where a system of subject teaching as opposed to classroom teaching would be adopted. This concern tends to suggest and/or support another concern expressed earlier about having to teach all subjects regardless of whether one is competent in all of them or not. Other views pointed to the need for professional support provided by the resource teachers and working with committed teachers. The latter concern suggests that teachers saw as an important factor, working jointly with others to improve the education system.
However, some student voices predicted decline in the Lesotho education system. This group indicated that education has become a business for some people. People were out to open schools for purposes of making money more than to offer good education. Another interesting voice referred to too much freedom given to students and that such freedom could lead to students rebelling against teachers. This particular concern tends to suggest that some student teachers would rather see punishment maintained.