|The Malawi Integrated In-Service Teacher Education Project: An Analysis of the Curriculum and Its Delivery in the Colleges (CIE, 2000, 75 p.)|
|Chapter 4: Evaluations and Conclusions|
In our interviews it was clear that many tutors were dissatisfied both with student achievement on the course and with aspects of the course itself, but that these were both linked to other factors.
Tutors in general felt that while the course looked good on paper, it had been fraught with implementation problems, which they attributed to lack of planning by TDU and lack of financial support from the MOE. They praised the Handbooks, but criticised the college period as far too short, resulting in a crash course with far too much to be covered in a short time. In particular, they regretted that there were so few opportunities for the students to practise teaching skills at the college, which they perceive as the most important element in training teachers.
They were particularly angry disappointed that they had not been given time to visit their students in the field. Supervising teaching practice used to be both professionally and financially rewarding for them but now that role was confined to rushed visits for terminal assessment, in which they did not even visit their own students. They knew that for various reasons the school-based training had started late, and they mistrusted the ability of Heads and PEAs to supervise student teachers effectively.
Tutors complained both about the students academic background and their perceived attitudes. Only those with MSCE - mainly participating in Cohorts 1 and 3 - they said, were capable of following the programme successfully. Students were considered to have poor communication abilities, to show little interest, and thought to be shy or lazy. Some were said to have given up; others frequently absented themselves. Their English language skills were seen as too poor; they were unable to study on their own and expected to be spoon-fed. One tutor thought their maturity made them less biddable, while another thought it was an asset.
In sum, tutors were comparing both the programme and the students negatively with their earlier professional experiences. They were expecting to produce outcomes similar to those they had achieved in past years, and were disappointed and frustrated at being unable to achieve them. They believed the programme would not turn out an effective teacher by their definition, and they felt powerless to improve the situation.