Appraisal of the adequacy and implementation process of the English language curriculum in state primary schools in Burundi
Ndayimirije, Marie- Immaculee
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Burundi's admission into the East African Community in 2005 led the then new government to introduce learning of English and Kiswahili in state primary schools in the same year. The innovation faced numerous challenges that the authorities are still trying to address. Whereas poor preparation of teachers and provision of resources have been partly addressed, very little has been done to investigate 'the curriculum and its implementation. The proposed research sets out to appraise the English curriculum with a view to assessing its adequacy and the effectiveness of its implementation. The study objectives are: to analyze the course books used to teach English, to examine the methods and resources used in teaching English, to find out the challenges faced in the teaching of English, to establish the level of teacher preparedness to teach English, and to establish the effectiveness of teacher support services in implementing the Primary English curriculum. Data will be collected using questionnaires, classroom observation, and a content analysis guide. The questionnaires will be administered to a population sample of 371 teachers of English, 80 school principals, and 8 curriculum designers. Classroom observation will involve 8 teachers of Grade 5 and Grade 6 classes. The teachers and principals will be sampled from 2 provinces, respectively urban and rural. The information sought will seek their perceptions on aspects of the curriculum content, guidance in the Teacher's Manual, and supervisory support provided to facilitate the implementation process. Classroom observation will focus on the teachers' ability to implement the curriculum methods and to communicate with the pupils. Content analysis will be done on all 6 textbooks - and their Teachers' Manuals - which make up the curriculum. Qualitative data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics. Quantitative data will be processed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), then analyzed using both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. A check will also be done for correlations between measures of groups of teachers or principals. It is hoped that the findings will provide education authorities with useful insights about the adequacy of the curriculum content and the needs for its effective implementation. The study will also offer itself as an opportunity for the Quality Assurance Board to gain deeper understanding of the benefits of appraisal as a tool for monitoring the efficiency of educational innovations in Burundi.