Secondary school teacher education in Ethiopia: practices and challenges
The Ministry of Education introduced a new teacher education program for secondary schools, Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (PGDT), in 2011. This study explores the practices and major challenges hindering the implementation of the program. A total of 557 participants (trainees, instructors, program coordinators, department heads and the dean) were surveyed. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were employed to gather pertinent data. The findings indicate that experienced trainers are not involved in the teacher training; the lecturers and tutors are not working up to the expected level. Despite the conviction among researchers and teacher educators that training environment has powerful impact for successful training, it is not found to be good in this program. With regard to challenges of the program, class absenteeism and lack of interest in and commitment to the program were identified as the most serious problem from the part of teachers and trainees. Moreover, trainees’ misconceptions on teacher-training are reported and they assume the program as short term training and has additional benefits. Institutional challenges such as loose coordination system, lack of concern for the program by the University and MoE officials and failure to treat trainees like other students in the regular program were identified. Finally, this has prompted some rethinking on the selection of trainees, assignment of trainers to the program and revisiting training environment that would improve the implementation of the program. Moreover, teacher training institutions are recommended to devise mechanisms to enhance the commitment and motivation of instructors and trainees. The Ministry of Education and University are urged to revisit the management system of the program.
Keywords: PGDT; Pre-service; Secondary school; Teacher education; Teacher trainees Training environment