An investigation of multigrade teaching at three primary schools in the Kavango region, Namibia

Haingura, Steven Shindimba (2014-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Multigrade teaching has been used in Namibia since the introduction of formal education; however, it became more prominent after independence, when the government proposed it to be the norm. Yet, regardless of its prevalence in rural schools – as high as 40% – qualified teachers are still not trained to teach multigrade classes. The primary aim of the research study therefore was to investigate multigrade teaching at three rural primary schools in the Ncuncuni circuit in the Kavango region. By employing a phenomenological methodology, the study explores the experiences and challenges as encountered in multigrade classrooms by six teachers. While a number of the challenges are common to experiences in typical monograde classrooms in Namibia – such as shortages of resources, poor parental involvement, and high rates of learner attrition – there are others that are specific to a multigrade setting. Given the growing number of multigrade schools in Namibia, particularly in rural settings, where infrastructure is already poor, the urgency for properly trained multigrade teachers can no longer be ignored. Among the key recommendations made by this study is that appropriate and sufficient teaching and learning materials, such as self-instructional and self-learning materials, should be provided to schools offering multigrade teaching. In acknowledging that the introduction of professional training will take time, and that the current teachers in multigrade classrooms are in dire need of support, the study would also like to recommend support from regional offices in the form of specialist advisers. There are numerous teachers in multigrade classrooms – many of whom will never receive any formal training. These teachers require immediate and on-going support if the Ministry of Education hopes to provide quality teaching and learning to learners.

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