Utilisation of time by teachers in implementing the curriculum in selected secondary schools in Mongu district, Zambia.

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Lubasi, Ireen Monde
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to assess the utilisation teaching time by teachers in selected secondary schools in Mongu district, Zambia. The study explored factors that reduced time for teaching and learning and suggested strategies that could be employed to reduce time loss. The concurrent embedded design of the mixed methods approach was used with quantitative data adding detail to the qualitative data. A questionnaire collected data from 32 secondary school teachers while interview guides were used to collect data from the 4 secondary school head teachers. A focus group guide was used to collect data from 24 grade twelve (12) learners. The qualitative was analyzed using emerging themes. Quantitative data from the questionnaire was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that, the time that learners received for learning was not adequate. Learners being in their last grade also affirmed that the time that remained for them to cover the remaining content in subjects before they could write final examinations was not adequate. Teachers noted this from the low coverage of the syllabus. Head teachers also indicated that, the time for teaching was not adequate to cover for content in the syllabi. On factors that reduced teaching time, the study revealed factors such as sports activities that took place during learning time, unplanned holidays, meetings and national examinations such as GCE, grade twelve and nine National examinations. Classroom factors included teachers performing disciplinary cases, attending to slow learners and teaching methods that consumed most of the time. However, some measures such as having school councils to monitor teachers, having class registers for teacher’s accountability and utilising holidays were already employed by some schools as it was revealed by head teachers. It was concluded that the time that was utilised for teaching was not adequate and a number of factors revealed in the study contributed to the loss of time in selected secondary schools in Mongu district. It was suggested that, there was need for proper planning of co- curricular activities more especially sports and incentives to teachers in order to encourage commitment to duty. It was recommended that there was need for continuous professional development of teachers with regard to strategies of how the limited time could be made manageable such as seminars, workshops and refresher courses to equip teachers and administrators with knowledge, skills and attitude on proper time management practices Key words: Time loss, Learning time, Time utilization, Curriculum implementation
Time loss--Learning time--Teaching--Zambia , Time utilization--Curriculum implementation--Zambia