Some factors related to the choice of Teaching as a career among pre-service Zambian Teachers
Bwali, McDonald Lucas
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In spite of the claimed low pay and unfavourable conditions of service in the teaching service in Zambia, a large number of young men and women enter teacher training colleges to train as teachers every year. The decision of these young men and women to become teachers raises questions as to whether their choice of teaching as a career is influenced by factors such as socio-economic status, job security and job opportunity at the time of looking for employment. This study investigated the factors which are related to the choice of teaching as a career among pre-service Zambian teachers. It was assumed that since a large number of young people take up teaching as a career at first, but only to leave it for other professions at a later stage, factors such as socio-economic status, job security and job opportunity at the time of looking for employment may have some influence on their choice of teaching as a career. The study was conducted in two colleges in Zambia and the sample of the study consisted of 250 student teachers aged between 16 and 21 years with at least Grade 12 academic qualification. In this study, ages of the students have been mentioned because this age group is not only dependent group but it is also the age group within which most Zambian youths complete their secondary education and enter the world of work. The sample was further divided into two groups of 124 male and female primary school student teachers and 126 male and female secondary school student teachers.The data collected through the questionnaire were presented using percentages. In order to determine the significance of the relationship between factors and the choice of teaching as a career, the data were subjected to chi-square statistical test.The findings showed that socio-economic status had significant relationship with the choice of teaching as a career. Job security and job opportunity at the time of looking for employment ahd no relationship with the choice of teaching as a career. Some other factors other than socio-economic status namely: place of birth and interpersonal factors were also found to have significant relationship with teh choice of teaching as a career among the pre-service Zambian teachers.