Investigating Agriculture Teacher Shortage in Secondary Schools in Malawi

Angstone Thembachako N.J. Mlangeni, Symon Bilesi Chibaya, Nelson Kaperemera, Elijah Aureliano Kamundi, Estone Malinda, Noel Kapito

Abstract


Agriculture education plays a significant role in Agriculture development which is pivotal to Malawi’s economy that employs over 80% of the workforce and contributes more than 65% to foreign exchange earnings. For secondary school agriculture to remain relevant to agronomical needs, competent qualified agriculture personnel are needed. Training Needs Assessment (TNA) was conducted to identify and establish training needs of secondary school (SS) agriculture teachers, to establish the gap between demand and availability of SS agriculture teachers, to identify subject matter deficits in the current SS agriculture curriculum, and solicit suggestions of subject combinations to be included in the NRC diploma in Agriculture Education curriculum. Information was obtained through interviews of selected SS head teachers, senior education method advisers, principal education method advisers in government institutions, and from heads and members of faculty of education in selected university colleges using semi-structured interview questionnaires. Results indicated that there a great shortage of agriculture teachers in almost all SS. Forty-four (44) SS out of fifty eight (58) SS sampled in the survey have unqualified or under qualified agriculture teachers which represents 76%. The results also revealed that 75%, 59% and 55% of DCSS, Private SS and Conventional SS respectively have unqualified agriculture teachers indicating that the problem of qualified agriculture teachers is most severe in CDSS and private SS. The shortage has worsened in convention SS (it was less than 20% in 1995). The shortage is attributable to high agriculture teacher attrition rate (60%) as more agriculture teachers leave for more lucrative jobs in NGO. Majority of the SS use either unqualified or under qualified teachers to agriculture confirming who are usually ineffective. The situation calls for more programmes to train agriculture teachers to address the current agriculture teacher shortage.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v5i2.6682

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