A study of secondary school headteachers' views on the performance of the 1990s B.Ed graduate teachers: a survey of Kakamega district
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This study focused on the views of head teachers regarding the performance of the current graduate teachers. It sought to identify and highlight functions in these teachers' role where they might have failed, gauge the head teachers' general preference between current graduates and diploma teachers and identify the graduate teachers' own view of themselves as teachers and of their training. It also sought to determine whether these current graduate teachers were ever evaluated by head teachers and if they were inducted into schools. The study was motivated by claims from some head teachers and other stakeholders within the education fraternity during this decade (1990s) that the Bachelor of Education teachers from the public universities have become ineffective and incompetent. It is for this reason that the study focused on current graduate teachers in secondary schools. The secondary school cycle of education is crucial because it is here that students begin to get moulded for the right tasks or service in the society. The teachers entrusted with these maturing individuals must therefore be competent and committed individuals. A sample of twenty four (24) secondary school head teachers and forty eight (43) current graduate teachers from secondary schools in Kakamega district were selected for the study. To them, questionnaires were administered by the researcher and were filled as the researcher awaited completion. Data obtained was then analysed and interpreted as frequency distributions, percentages, and in narration form and findings were deduced. The findings, which were based on research questions, were used to generate conclusions and recommendations. Some of the highlights of the findings are; i. The head teachers generally view the current graduate teachers as effective. ii. The current graduate teachers were seen to have shown weakness in science subjects, and are not committed to the teaching profession. iii. The current graduate teachers have shown positive ability in Humanities and technical subjects. iv. The current graduate teachers have a high regard of themselves as professional teachers. v. The current graduate teachers view their training as having been useful and relevant but also noted weaknesses in the training programme. vi. Most of the current graduate teachers have not been evaluated by head teachers in the classroom and induction into schools has not been comprehensive. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made by the researcher. i. Universities should conduct follow-up evaluation of their graduates in the field during their probation period and structures be established to facilitate communication and professional interactional interaction between universities and schools on matters of educational interest. ii. There should be regular in-service courses for graduate teachers by the Ministry of Education and whenever possible, such courses should involve academic staff from the universities education faculty as resource persons. iii. More emphasis should be place on instructional competence of student-teachers rather than mere mastery of content as expressed in written examinations during pre-service teacher education. iv. The on-going right sizing of universities student admissions (to regular programmes) must be maintained within manageable sizes that match the available facilities and resources. v. Teaching of the science subjects at the universities should be strengthened, by placing more emphasis on practicals, tutorials, regular assessment and use of affordable and appropriate technology.