Teacher specialisation and pupil performance in selected primary schools of Kaputa district: exploring the benefits, challenges and implications.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits, challenges and implications of teacher specialization in primary schools as way of improving performance in Kaputa District. In recent years, there have been a number of innovations and reforms aimed at making education relevant to the needs of the society. The purpose of bringing this issue onboard is the recognition that specialisation teaching has a potential to improve quality of teaching. This study therefore seeks to explore the benefits, challenges and implications experienced by teachers of specialisation classes. The study used qualitative research approach, case study research design with a sample of fifteen (15) participants of which 3 were headteachers and 12 class teachers.The finding of the study on the implications of teacher specialization at primary was seem to suggest that there was more of subject sharing than subject specialisaion since teachers were teaching subjects they did not specialize in. Further, on the benefits experienced by specialisation teachers, the study found that teachers have time to research on a specific subject and there is wider subject coverage for a specific subject. The study also showed the challenges associated with teacher specialisaion at primary school such that pupils in most of the cases had problems with adjusting to the demands such as completion of tasks given from different teachers on time due to low attaining of concepts especially at grade 5, 6 and 7.The study further established that even though there is an indication of teacher specialization being done in primary schools, teachers indicated being frustrated by the model used as it was just subject sharing rather than subject specialization. The study recommended that when the government through the ministry of general education is deploying specialized teachers, equality must be considered in rural schools where shortage of teachers is being experienced most. Additionally, primary school certificate be phased out by employing more teachers who are well qualified and those affected be allowed to pursue Diploma or any higher education with relevancy in subject specialisation.
The University of Zambia