Teacher Selection in the Public Sector: Challenges, Pitfalls and Opportunities
Kasonde & Chipindi, Chita & Ferdinand Mwaka
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Studies by various scholars have revealed that in addition to formal qualifications, effective teachers possess a particular set of skills, characteristics, values and beliefs. However, there exists a gap in the literature to determine how these qualities can be identified during the teacher selection process. This study was undertaken to identify the challenges and pitfalls that arise teacher selection based on paper evidence. The study aimed at building on existing literature by identifying opportunities for improving teacher selection by exploring tools that can best identify the qualities of effective teachers. The focus was teacher selection in the Ministry of General Education. A qualitative method of investigation was employed and utilised interview guides to get an in-depth insight into the challenges faced when conducting teacher selection. The study revealed that the current teacher selection process is not adequate in identifying the qualities effective teachers should possess. Despite these challenges and the inadequacy of the current teacher selection process, opportunities exist for improving teacher such as the use of aptitude tests and interviews in addition to the existing use of paper evidence. From this study, it was concluded that not much emphasis is attached to selecting effective teachers because teacher selection is viewed more as being necessary for filling vacancies without realising the impact that teachers have on student performance. The study recommends increased funding for building capacities to incorporate selection tools such as aptitude tests and interviews, greater coordination between the MoGE and the TSC in providing teacher statistics to ensure that teacher recruitment advertisements specify the teachers that are required as well as coordination between the TSC and teacher training institutions to address the mismatch between teacher supply and demand.