The Quality of Pre-Service Primary School Teacher Education in Tanzania: An Investigation into Policies and Practices
Chaligha, Julius L. E.
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This study investigated the quality of pre-service primary teacher education in Tanzania and determined the extent to which policies and practices affect the quality of pre-service primary teacher education. The research objectives of the study were to identify factors affecting the quality of pre-service primary TE in Tanzania; examine whether the TE policies has any influence on the quality of pre-service primary TE; establish whether the pre-service primary teacher training process influence the quality of pre-service primary teachers; and, finally, to propose appropriate strategies that would help to improve the quality of pre-service primary TE. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The sample was 412 respondents. Data were gathered using questionnaires, interviews and observations. The analysis was done using qualitative and quantitative approach. Computer software - Excel for statistical analysis was used. The findings revealed that various factors affected the quality of pre-service primary TE. The study found that weak Grade A trainees enrolled, underdeveloped and overloaded curriculum, scarcity of teaching and learning materials, poor working environment in the TTCs and the shortage of funds affects the quality pre-service primary TE process. In fact, the TE policy does not encourage the enrolment of best students in the pre-service primary TE. Moreover, the TTCs’ inspection and quality assurance system remained weak. Furthermore, Grade A tutors are largely under qualified and face the challenge of overcrowded classes and insufficient teaching and learning materials and access to ICT. As such, there is a need to reform the TE policy, improve the admission criteria, ensure adequate supply of basic amenities, reform the Grade A curriculum and introduce subject specialisation, improve training and recruitment of Grade A tutors. Though good TE policy is necessary, but it is insufficient on its own. In this regard, the study recommended a change of mindset coupled with political will to achieve quality pre-service primary TE.