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close this bookCosts and Financing of Teacher Education in Lesotho (CIE, 2000, 62 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMulti-Site Teacher Education Research Project (MUSTER)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentAbstract
View the documentChapter 1: Overview of National Issues
View the documentChapter 2: The Teacher Education System
View the documentChapter 3: The System of College Funding and Sources of Costs
View the documentChapter 4: Internal Efficiency of the NTTC
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 5: Selection and Performance in the NTTC
View the documentChapter 6: Utilization and Deployment of Newly Trained Primary Teachers
View the documentChapter 7: Teacher Supply and Demand
View the documentChapter 8: Preliminary Conclusions
View the documentReferences

Chapter 7: Teacher Supply and Demand

The number of qualified and unqualified teachers is shown in Table 23. The proportion of unqualified teachers has fluctuated from 26% to 22% over the last five years and has not been declining systematically. In 1997 there were about 8090 primary teachers of whom about 1820 were unqualified. Table 24 shows the situation in secondary. Here the number of untrained teachers has fallen from 27% to 17% over the last five years. In 1997 there were 3100 secondary teachers of whom about 530 were untrained.

Over 57% of primary teachers are concentrated in the age range 30-50 with only 18% under 30 years old. Of these 63% are unqualified. The average age of qualified primary teachers is 44 years and of unqualified teachers 3221 years. This draws attention to the high average age of teachers and the age profile of the cadre which suggests that many are approaching retirement age. Fully 16% are beyond or within five years of retirement age, and a further 9% are within 10 years. Fully 10% of qualified teachers are over 55 years old and will presumably retire soon. 12% of secondary teachers have more than 20 years’ service. Expatriates still comprise over 16% of secondary teachers, especially in the science area.

21 Assuming the average age of those over 60 is 63

The main implication of the data is that, especially at primary level, the supply of newly qualified teachers has been insufficient to reduce the proportion who are untrained. It may also be a concern that the average age of qualified teachers is so high. Older teachers may be less inclined to innovate and adopt new methods that require retraining and reconceptualising the curriculum.

Table 23: Teachers in Primary Schools by Age and Qualification 1993 - 1997

Age Group

1993


1994


1995


1996


1997



Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

15-19

2

11

1

25

1

9

2

10

5

14

20-24

60

373

51

334

63

379

68

338

77

317

25-29

465

584

411

604

404

682

365

648

451

572

30-34

920

339

889

379

803

473

778

525

800

472

35-39

1065

142

994

173

1068

218

987

230

1036

217

40-44

956

79

1000

71

955

84

1005

102

1015

84

45-49

764

23

800

37

895

52

877

54

969

53

50-54

553

21

602

12

637

12

684

20

671

24

55

128

5

85

3

134

5

70

2

172

3

56

63

2

123

3

82

4

128

5

76

1

57

87

4

60


123

6

82

3

135

3

58

71

5

81

2

63

1

116

5

83

2

59

53

1

69

3

88

2

58

1

124

4

=>60

501

55

536

80

603

96

641

94

658

51

Total

5688

1644

5702

1726

5919

2023

5861

2037

6272

1817

%

78

22

77

23

75

25

74

26

78

22

Table 24: Teachers in Secondary Schools by Local or Expatriate and Qualification 1993 - 1997

Age Group

1993


1994


1995


1996


1997



Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Qual

Unqual

Local

1348

602

1557

535

1737

472

1871

466

2082

498

Expat

502

74

473

32

442

58

429

51

490

31

Total

1850

676

2030

567

2179

530

2300

517

2572

529

%

73

27

78

22

80

20

82

18

83

17

The number of new primary teachers needed can be estimated with reference to data on the size of the age cohort, the desired pupil-teacher ratio, and the number of unqualified teachers who need to be replaced. It has been noted earlier that enrolments in primary schools have been declining. From a peak in 1995 of 378,000 they contracted to 368,000 in 1997, the last year for which data is available. This represents a decline of about 1.5% per year. The difficulty is that without knowing the reasons for this decline it is not easy to determine whether or not it will continue.

Some analyses seem to suggest that the decline could be arising from permanent or temporary migration to South Africa of parents and/or pupils and reductions in the size of the age cohort as a result of a decline in the birth rate. There is no evidence to suggest that declining enrolment is a result of a failure of demand for schooling at this level since it seems unlikely that many parents have become less enthusiastic about sending grade 1 children to school. Nor have changes taken place in repetition and dropout rates that would explain the decline. It can be anticipated that the migration that may have occurred in the mid 1990s will slow as South Africa becomes more restrictive about immigration, and as the main source of jobs for Lesotho nationals (mining) declines in importance. This would have the effect of increasing primary enrolments over what they would otherwise be.

There is evidence that birth rate and therefore the size of the age cohort is declining. This may be because the propensity to have children has declined and /or because of the effects of high rates of HIV/AIDS in the population. The population projections from the 1996 census have three variants which are shown in Table 25. In the low variant the number of 5-9 year olds first grows and then declines as a result of a lower population of 0-4 year olds. This is also true for the mid and high variants over the period.

Table 25: Population Projections by Age Group 1996-200622

Age Group

1996

2001

2006

Low




0-4

302474

274865

310314

5-9

286105

295287

268956

10-14

260437

283735

293036

Medium




0-4

302474

285269

337232

5-9

286105

295116

284211

10-14

260437

283689

292876

High




0-4

302474

290859

345762

5-9

286105

295241

278652

10-14

260437

283724

292722

22 The reliability of this census data has been challenged e.g. Mathot et al 1999:66. No more recent or reliable projections were available at the time of writing.

Other analyses see the main causes for dropout and enrolment decline in poverty (Mathot et al 1999). This is plausible, especially in a period where major retrenchment is taking place in South Africa resulting in job losses for migrant workers. Although migrant workers may return with their children, it is thought most left their children in Lesotho. The ability of families to pay school fees will decline with loss of income and it may be that this is a significant cause of the enrolment decline observed.

The neutral assumption used as a starting point at this stage is that the effects of a decline in migration will be offset by a decline in the growth of the school age cohort. If so the enrolment in primary would remain largely unchanged. Projections in the 1997 Education Statistics suggest that the school age population (6-12 years) will grow from 392,800 in 1997 to 408,700 by 2001. This is consistent with the above and is presumably based on the mid-variant. After that time the school age population will begin to decline.

Table 26 projects teacher demand. First let us consider column A. It shows that to achieve a pupil-teacher ratio of 40:1 with current (1997) enrolments would require 9,225 teachers (line 5)23. This is 1,136 more than the number in post (line 6). In addition it would be necessary to replace those who retire, die in service or decide to follow other careers. If the teacher attrition rate is 5%24 then an additional 461 teachers will be needed (line 8); if it is 10% then the number is 923 (line 10). Thus the total demand for new teachers in 1997 would seem to lie between 1,597 and 2,059. It should be noted that if all unqualified teachers are to be replaced by qualified teachers then it will be necessary to train an additional 1,817 (line 12) teachers who are already in service in schools.

23 40:1 has been chosen as the target used in the most recent World Bank simulations (World Bank 1999 Annex 4, Scenario 1.

24 The World Bank uses 5% attrition. This appears not to factor in the effects of rising levels of HIV/AIDS. It is also lower than previous plan estimates. 10% may be more realistic.

Columns B to E show the additional demand for new teachers that will arise from changes in the projected size of the school age group assuming enrolments follow the same pattern. The number of new teachers required each year from 1998 declines from about 600 to 560 (line 9) or 1,070 to 1,000 (line 11) depending on the attrition assumption. These numbers are in addition to those who need to be trained identified in column A.

The total demand for initial teacher training over the period can be estimated by adding across rows 9 or 11. This produces the result that for 5% attrition 3942 new teachers would be needed and for 10%, 6,229. If these numbers were translated into annual targets for output over each of the next five years would be 788 and 1,246 respectively. The 1,817 untrained teachers (line 12) would need to be trained at a rate of about 360 per year if they were all to be trained within five years.

Table 26: Primary Teacher Projections 1997-2001



A

B

C

D

E



1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

1

Age group 6-12 years

392800

398500

403100

406600

408700

2

Primary Enrolment

369000

374355

378676

381964

383937

3

Qualified Teachers

6272





4

Unqualified Teachers

1817





5

No. needed at pupil-teacher ratio of 1:40

9225

9359

9467

9549

9598

6

No. in post

8089





7

New Teachers needed as a result of growth and achieving 1:40

1136

134

108

82

49

8

Retirement etc. at 5%

461

468

473

477

480

9

New Teachers needed

1597

602

602

581

560

10

Retirement etc at 10%

923

936

947

955

960

11

New Teachers needed

2059

1070

1055

1037

1009

12

No. unqualified needing training

1817





There are a number of considerations that should be noted in interpreting these results. The calculations assume that dropout and repetition remain the same as currently. Both are planned to fall. The total enrolments in primary in 1997 (369,000) were not much less than the size of the age group (392,000). However we have noted that only about half of those who enter grade 1 complete grade 7 successfully. The demand for teachers will be affected by reductions in repetition (enrolments will fall) and dropout (enrolments will rise). The net effect will depend on the rate at which these events unfold. It may be easier to reduce repetition than dropout since this is more directly under the control of schools and the MOE. Repetition reduction targets are foreshadowed in the Education Sector Development Plan 1998/99-2000-2001 (1997:12). This suggests that repetition should fall to less than 10% by 2000 but to date there is no evidence that this is happening. If it did it, would significantly reduce the demand for new teachers.

The MOE plans to abolish school fees at primary level from next year. If it does so demand and retention may be expected to rise. The abolition is to be phased grade by grade. The safest assumption at this stage seems to be that this will have an effect on teacher demand as enrolments increase. This may have an immediate impact. Some estimates suggest that as many as 30,000 additional new pupils will enter the system in grade 1 when the policy is implemented. This would generate a need for as many as 750 new teachers. It may also be that repetition in grade 1 will temporarily rise as pupil refrain from entering grade 2 in order to take advantage of fee-free education. The subsequent effects on retention of free education are speculative but seem likely to reduce dropout (Mathot et al 1999:67) and therefore increase enrolments.

The estimates of teacher demand do not take into account that some teachers withdraw from teaching to study for higher qualifications (to upgrade to Diploma or higher levels). If they do so full-time this would increase the demand over the period they are studying. The effect will not be large but could increase demand by 5% or so.

Neither do the estimates account for the possible increase in retirement rate that is likely to occur with the introduction of pensions for teachers. Previously primary school teachers did not receive pensions and there was therefore an incentive to continue to teach up to and beyond retirement age. There were over 650 teachers over 60 in 1997. Since 1998 a scheme has been introduced to provide pensions which will encourage those close to retirement to take their pensions.

Some estimates of enrolment growth are higher than the fairly neutral assumption made above. The World Bank (1999 Annex 4) assumes growth of between 1.5% and 2%25 over the next five years. This would increase the demand for new teachers by up to 200 per year. World Bank projections for teacher demand are however lower than the estimates presented above. They appear not to include the need to qualify the unqualified and they use lower attrition rates. Other projections (Mathot et al 1999:75) suggest the demand for new teachers will be smaller and within the range of current output. The latter assumes improved repetition rates and less dropout with a net effect that will reduce enrolment growth over what it would otherwise be.26 Attempts to reduce repetition since the early 1990s have not been successful and dropout appears to have been increasing despite attempts to reduce its incidence.

25 This appears to be based on different assumptions about the rate of change in repetition and drop out than those made here where their effects on enrolments are assumed to cancel each other out.

26 These projections use a target of 1:45 for the pupil teacher ratio and this is responsible for a large part of the difference in estimates. 1:45 pupil teacher ratio is likely to imply class sizes averaging well over 50. These lower estimates do not seem to apply an attrition rate to new teacher demand. If so they are under estimates. Neither do they account for the need to qualify the unqualified.

On balance the comments above suggest that the estimates presented are reasonable. In the short term the major factors which will influence them upwards (introduction of fee-free education, increased teacher attrition) seem to outweigh those that could reduce enrolments (significant reductions in repetition, shrinkage of the age group). They may therefore be regarded as minima. It seems unlikely that overall demand will be less than about 800 per year and might exceed 1200 if enrolments do grow faster than projected.27

27 Even if the higher target of a pupil teacher ratio of 45:1 were adopted, rather than 40:1, this would only make a difference to these estimates of about 200 fewer teachers per year.

These estimates of demand for primary training can be compared with the output from the NTTC and data on the destinations of graduates. The fifth Five-Year Plan projected a yearly output of 250 primary teacher graduates. However, lack of adequate hostel facilities at the NTTC and other constraints proved to be an impediment in the realisation of this target. Table 27 below shows the NTTC’s primary teachers’ graduation rate between 1993 and 1997. Thus the output of newly qualified primary teachers has varied from about 85 to 185, and has been higher in later years. The new DEP programme, which is designed to replace the PTC, has a first year enrolment of 100. The new recruitment for the DEP course in 2000 should exceed 150. This remains below the historic level of new enrolment of the PTC.

Secondary level qualified teachers have been produced at a lower rate than for primary from NTTC of between 50 and 80 per year. When this output is combined with the degree level output from the National University it is clear that overall more secondary than primary teachers are being trained. This is anomalous given the pattern of demand indicated by the number of teachers who need to be trained at either level.

Table 27: Number of Teachers Trained by Qualification for 1993 -199728

Course

1993


1994


1995


1996


1997



Admit

Grad

Admit

Grad

Admit

Grad

Admit

Grad

Admit

Grad

Primary NTTC











PTC

130

84

115

84

125

124

125

99

138

127

APTC





59

59

59

50



DPE









46

46

Total

130

84

115

84

184

183

184

149

195

184

Secondary NTTC











STC

61

59

61

59

51

51

51

51

86

84

STTC

11

11









DTE

7

4

5

5

14

13

14

11

17

15

NUL Degree











BAED


60


58


3





BSCED


18


24


22


38


35

BED


36


64


64


44


73

PGCE


14


14


2


10


12

MED


5


9


4


3


3

Total


207


233


159


157


222

28 Based on information in yearly Educational Statistics, Planning Unit, Ministry of Education, Maseru, Lesotho and excluding LIET upgrading.

From MOE records we have tried trace the graduates from primary courses in NTTC from 1993 to 1997. The result is shown in Table 28.

Table 28: Graduates from NTTC and Career Destinations


No. Qualifying

No. Employed as Teachers

No. Unaccounted for in Records

% Attrition

1993

84

66

18

21

1994

84

79

5

6

1995

183

153

30

16

1996

149

118

31

21

1997

184

157

27

15

The records show that the output of trained teachers from the PTC and DPE who can be traced into teaching varies from 66 to 157 per year. These may be slight underestimates since it is possible that changes in name have confounded the analysis. Nevertheless the number of new teachers each year cannot be more than the number qualifying and DPE teachers are not new. The implication of the Table is that between 5% and 15% of primary teachers fail to enter the teaching profession after qualifying. In addition the failure rate on the NTTC training programmes has tended to be between 5% and 15% after resits. It would therefore seem that training targets have to be between 10% and 20% higher than the number of teachers required. Thus to produce 1,000 new teachers per year may require annual admission targets of 1,100 to 1,200. These figures are up ten times larger than current output (or four to five times projected enrolment on the DEP of 250 entrants each year).

It is therefore evident that the output is significantly below the estimates made above of the need for training and for new teachers. The difference may be even larger than suggested if free primary education has a large impact on demand and attrition rates grow as a result of HIV and other factors.29 This implies clearly that the pupil-teacher ratio will rise in the future unless the output of qualified teachers is increased substantially to a number nearer the level of projected demand.

29 Other countries in the region, which appear to have experienced high rates of HIV infection earlier than in Lesotho, have seen teacher attrition grow rapidly. This may or may not prove to be the case in Lesotho.

Currently the cost per year of training a teacher at primary level is about M10,00030. To produce 1,100 new teachers a year in the existing system would require an enrolment of 3,300 at a cost of about M33 million. This would represent more than 7% of MOE total expenditure without including the cost of secondary training, or of qualifying the unqualified.

30 If the NTTC primary unit costs is adjusted to take account of failure and early years attrition this would seem an appropriate estimate.

In addition to these costs the resources needed to upgrade the unqualified have to be considered. It is proposed that the successor to LIET PTC should enrol about 250 students on an annual basis from 2001 (LIET PTC accepted 450 into a three-year cohort every three years). This would generate a similar output to the existing system spread over three years. The salary costs of the existing programme appear to be about half of those for full-time courses. Other costs depend on how the new programme is organised. If residential time is reduced (through the greater use of outreach centres) and travel, allowances and material costs are controlled, it may be that this training can be delivered for half or less of the unit cost per full-time initial student. This suggests that training of this kind might build up to a recurrent yearly cost of somewhat less than M4 million (excluding start up costs).

The same methods used to project primary teacher training needs can be used for secondary. It is anticipated that secondary enrolments will grow to meet the target of 40% of the school age group enrolled. The historic rate of growth in enrolments over the last decade has been about 6%. If this is continued it should be sufficient to reach the target assuming high rates of dropout are reduced. It would result in a gross enrolment rate of about 66% after five years which should allow the target of 40% net enrolment to be achieved.

The projection shows that in 1997 there were enough teachers to support a pupil-teacher ratio of 1:2531. This ratio has been retained for these estimates since the teacher per class ratio in secondary schools averages about 1.8:1 giving a typical class size of 45, which can be regarded as an upper desirable limit for secondary schools. The demand for new teachers is negative. If teacher attrition is 10% or more then a small number (44) of new teachers are needed. Between 1,253 and 2,120 new teachers will be needed over five years if enrolments grow as projected. This translates into an annual demand of 250 to 425. The lower figure is comparable to current output. If all those who are unqualified were trained over five years this would require an annual upgrading programme for about 100 a year (Table 29).

31 If this pupil teacher ratio were to fall to 1:30, the figure used in Scenario 1 World Bank 1999) this would reduce demand by around 100 per year. It would imply class sizes of 50 or more given typical teacher class ratios.

Table 29: Secondary Teacher Projections 1997-2001



A

B

C

D

E



1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

1

Age group 13-17

250090

254313

258907

263748

268851

2

Enrolment Growth at 6%

71475

75764

80309

85128

90236

3

Qualified

2572





4

Unqualified

529





5

No. needed at ptr 1:25

2859

3031

3212

3405

3609

6

No in post

3101





7

New Teachers needed as a result of growth and achieving pupil-teacher ratio of 1:25

-242

172

182

193

204

8

Retirement etc. at 5%

143

152

161

170

180

9

New Teachers needed

-99

323

323

342

363

10

Retirement etc at 10%

286

303

321

341

361

11

New Teachers needed

44

475

503

533

565

12

No. unqualified needing training

529





The cost of training 250 secondary school teachers a year can be estimated. Those trained through STC are having unit costs around M18,00032 per year. Those trained in NUL may cost as much as M75,000 per year. If the training is divided equally between 3 year STC and 4 year degree routes the annual cost for an output of 250 will be M6.75 million (STC) + M28.13 million (Degree) = M34.88 million per year. Thus, despite the smaller numbers, this would cost marginally more than meeting the much larger demand for new primary teachers. It would represent a further 7% of the total education budget. It does not include the cost of upgrading unqualified teachers. If these were upgraded through similar methods to the proposed new distance teacher education project the recurrent costs could be less than 1M million per year if the training was spread over several years.

32 Taking into account higher unit costs at secondary in NTTC and probable rates of early career attrition

We note that it may be preferable to expand secondary teacher training at STC level for three reasons. First, STC is much cheaper to provide than degree level courses. Second, STC holders are much cheaper to employ since they are on lower salary scales. Third, it is believed that teacher attrition rates amongst STC holders are lower than amongst degree holders. These cost related reasons have to be balanced against the desire to staff secondary schools with university graduates, especially in the higher grades.

The demand for secondary teachers may be greater than is suggested. The main reason for this is that attrition rates at this level may be much higher. Recent research (Williams 1998:48) shows that gross attrition rates for those with STC have been over 50% during the first five years after qualifying. This implies that as many as twice as many teachers may need to be trained than those indicated by the pattern of demand.

The last observation relates to the supply side of the teacher training equation and affects both primary and secondary teacher supply. The numbers passing COSC have grown only slowly (Table 30). There were 1,980 successful candidates in 1998 who obtained class 1, 2 or 3 passes. It is clear that the recurrent demand for primary and secondary teachers cannot be met on a recurrent basis from these graduates. However, full COSC certification is not required for entry to teacher training. Four credits and one pass suffice. The reason many candidates are not fully certified is that they fail in English. In recent years almost all those admitted to NTTC have met these minimum requirements. Some have higher aggregates than those obtaining full certification. The new DEP programme has been able to recruit without finding difficulty in meeting its target numbers for 1999 (about 180 have been selected). The target from 2000 for this programme is 250 which is judged achievable without changing admissions standards. Two points are salient. First there is some level at which the supply of qualified applicants may be problematic. It is difficult to ascertain what this is but it may well be below the level of demand projected, especially if it is remembered that the pool of qualified applicants includes those training for secondary who have similar entrance requirements. Second, the situation with regard to English passes may give rise to some concern. It may be that the COSC English examination is not a good indicator of proficiency sufficient to teach in English as a medium of instruction. If it is not then there would seem to be a case to develop an appropriate standardised test to perform this function.

Table 30: Pass Rates at COSC 1990-1998


Class 1

%

Class 2

%

Class 3

%

Total SC

%SC Pass

GCE

%

Fail


Total

1990

74

2.3

243

7.5

581

18.0

898

27.8

2195

68.0

136

4.2

3229

1991

72

2.1

347

10.1

694

20.2

1113

32.3

2155

62.6

174

5.1

3442

1992

65

1.8

325

9.0

641

17.8

1024

28.4

2401

66.5

176

4.9

3608

1993

94

2.4

365

9.3

547

13.9

1006

25.6

2851

72.6

69

1.8

3926

1994

150

3.7

444

11.0

957

23.6

1551

38.3

2436

60.2

60

1.5

4047

1995

86

1.8

410

8.7

856

18.2

1352

28.8

3252

69.2

93

2.0

4697

1996

93

1.8

529

10.1

1181

22.5

1803

34.3

3343

63.7

105

2.0

5251

1997

95

1.8

598

11.0

1279

23.6

1972

36.4

3338

61.5

114

2.1

5424

1998

55

0.9

605

10.1

1319

22.0

1979

33.0

3903

65.1

110

1.8

5992

The implications from this analysis of supply and demand can be summarised.

· First, the primary teaching cadre contains over 20% (1,800+) unqualified teachers and this proportion has not been declining significantly. At secondary level the numbers unqualified have diminished from 27% to 17% over the last five years. The remaining unqualified teachers need training.

· Second, the growth rate in primary enrolments is uncertain. It seems most likely that numbers will increase at around the projected rate of school age population growth. They may temporarily exceed this during the transition to free primary education

· Third, reasonable estimates of the demand for training at primary level appears to be at least 1,000 to 1,200 per year and may be more depending on the assumptions made. This translates into annual admission targets of about 1,200-1,400 accounting for wastage and early career attrition. It implies that total enrolment in primary training would need to be between 3,600 and 4,200 if three-year courses are maintained.

· Fourth, current and recent output has averaged less than 150 qualified primary teachers per year not all of whom appear to be teaching. Targeted output from the DEP is 250 per year by 2003. The comparison with projected demand is striking. Unless more teachers are trained pupil-teacher ratios will rise.

· Fifth, all untrained teachers could be qualified in-service over five years at an annual training rate of about 360 per year.

· Sixth, there is no serious shortfall in teacher training for secondary level. However, between 250 and 425 a year will have to be trained to meet likely enrolment growth. This estimate may be conservative if the attrition rate is much more than 10%.

· Seventh, the policy on teacher recruitment needs to recognise that there are limits imposed by the numbers of qualified candidates graduating from secondary schools who are likely to choose teaching as a career. It may also need to reconsider admission criteria relating to competence to teach using English as a medium of instruction.