Factors and consequences of a slump in examination results within catholic-run teachers' colleges of education (2004-2006): The case of mongu and charles Lwanga
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Teacher Education is pivotal to national, community and individual progress. It is therefore understandable that government, lecturers, community and parents at large are all concerned about the performance of student teachers. The government is concerned because Teacher Education is a foundation for the eventual nation's academic performance. It therefore has to provide a conducive atmosphere for both lecturers and students. This can be done through, among other things, providing required learning and teaching materials and other motivational incentives to stakeholders.Lecturers on the other hand see the poor performance of students as their own inadequacy and inefficiency. Failure of students to perform as expected brings untold embarrassment which they have to deal with for a long time in their lives. The community and parents in general are concerned because Teacher Education is the basis on which their children's prospects lie. Some of the trainees, upon graduation, would be a guaranteed source of family income to a number of households. Their investment in children's education would only be viable with well qualified teachers to handle the learners. With all this attention and intention,stakeholders handle this course with so much apprehension.Student teachers are selected from learners who have passed through senior secondary school. It is this foundation which is vital as the students and lecturers work to achieve good results. Poor performance at the end of training could be a reflection of the type of foundation the students are built on. Lecturer qualification and motivation could be the other reasons related to performance. The study examined Factors and Consequences of a slump in examination results within Catholic-run Teachers' Colleges of Education. Fifty former students and twenty lecturers from each college participated in the research. The main instruments were questionnaires, interviews and Focused Group biscussions. As a supplement, perusal of specific documents was further done to try and find the actual figures of students who had failed and the probable factors for, and consequences of, their failure. It was found that the abrupt wholesome restructuring of the Ministry of Education in 2003 by the government had a negative effect upon institutions; and these colleges were some of the institutions that were affected. Lecturers who were earmarked to leave the colleges were demoralized and some of those who were promoted to be lecturers lacked the necessary experience to handle the newly introduced Zambia Teacher Education Course (ZATEC).The study further revealed that a good number of students may not have been properly qualified to be in college at that time since they lacked strong academic foundation. The grades on some of the students' certificates were questionable as compared to their educational standard on a day to day performance during training. Furthermore, students found Expressive Arts (Music and Art) and Technology (Home Economics and Industrial Arts) as new subjects. They also did not use their study time well and their exam preparation was haphazard. The ladies were found to be the worst culprits of procrastination.
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