Teachers present in school but absent in class: utilization and ‘silent erosion’ of learning time in the implementation of the curriculum in Mongu district of Zambia.

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Mulenga, Innocent Mutale
Lubasi, Ireen Monde
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European Journal of Education Studies
Curriculum implementation in Zambia is faced with a lot of challenges ranging from poor funding, lack of appropriate and adequate teaching and learning resources, lack of qualified teachers in some subjects such as computer studies and sciences, poor school infrastructure especially in most rural areas, low teacher morale and lack of specialized teaching and learning resources for learners with special educational needs. However, one important curriculum implementation resource that research seems to ignore is learning time is utilized. The purpose of this study was to examine secondary school teachers’ utilization of learning time in the implementation of the curriculum. The researchers used a concurrent embedded design of the mixed methods research approach. A questionnaire and interview guides were used to collect data from teachers and secondary school head teachers respectively. While a focus group discussion guide was used to collect data from learners. Data was then analyzed using themes and descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that although teachers would be present in school, they spent most of the time attending to non-classroom teaching activities such as organizing learners in sports, staff meetings and invigilation of national examinations. It was also revealed that the times that they would be in class, teachers would most of the times start the lesson about eight minutes late. Researchers in this study concluded that several non-teaching factors affected effective utilization of learning time in the implementation of the curriculum. It was therefore; recommended that there should be proper review of how learning time was being managed in the schools in the province.
Time loss. , Curriculum implementation. , Learning time.