Assessment of the contribution of teacher professional development policies to the quality of primary education in Ankole region, Uganda

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study assessed the contribution of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) policies to the quality of primary education in Uganda, with a particular focus on the Ankole Region. The study was guided by four objectives, namely to: (1) examine the implementation of TPD policies; (2) examine the appropriateness of the TPD policies in improving the TPD programmes; (3) determine the effects of TPD policies on the provision of quality learning in primary schools; and (4) identify the challenges related to implementing TPD policies. The study adopted a pragmatic paradigm, employing a concurrent triangulation mixed method approach. The study used a cross sectional survey design, where a sample of 426 respondents was obtained using purposive and simple random sampling techniques. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, documentary analysis and Focus Group Discussion. The analysis was undertaken using the mixed method approach, whereby quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version 20, which helped to obtain descriptive statistics. Content analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. The results show that TPD policies existed in all the primary schools and districts, yet there were many gaps in the implementation of these policies. The study found that the common programmes that guide TPD Policies (PPD) include peer teaching, refresher courses, in service education, seminars, peer supervision, and workshops. The study established that the districts formulated TPD policies in line with the human resource policies that guide civil servants. However, there was little empirical evidence about how current TPD policies appropriately guide the TPD programmes, as the majority of the policies did not include rigorous steps for scrutiny, which allowed mediocre teachers to pass through the system unrestrained. It was further revealed that school-based TPD policies and programmes had enormously positive effects on teachers’ practice and students learning and therefore were seen to have strong influence on students’ learning outcomes. The study revealed that the major characteristics of appropriate TPD policies were based on classroom instruction. The study further revealed that effective teacher development policies were closely linked to improved teachers’ pedagogical and subject content knowledge, that rate highly in terms of improving students’ learning outcomes. The major challenges to the implementation of TPD policies were poor funding, lack of time as well as the teachers’ lack of interest. The study therefore concluded that, when TPD policies are constructed focusing on programmes that are tailored to improving classroom practice and the implementation is aligned to classroom related teacher competences; they immensely contribute to the provision of quality primary education. The study, thus, recommends that a TPD standards unit should be established at the district level to plan, implement and evaluate TPD policies and programmes. Above all, it is recommended that schools and districts should mainstream TPD policies in their planning, implementation and evaluation of all primary education programmes. In the same vein, it is recommended that a study be carried out in other regions to see if similar results can be obtained.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LC1033.T34L83)
Competency based education, Tertiary Technical Training Institutions, Tanzania
Barigye, E. (2017) Assessment of the contribution of teacher professional development policies to the quality of primary education in Ankole region, Uganda, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam