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Research on School Education

 

 

List of Papers for Theme B:
Research on school education and quality of life

(Click on the author's name to go to the abstract.)

Author(s) Paper
M. S. Dlamini &
M. P. Dlamini
Factors related to student unrest in Swaziland high schools as perceived by head-teachers, teachers and students
K. Gathu The search for gender sensitive curriculum and school practices: future directions
C. S. Gumbi &
B. M. Dlamini
Head teachers' perceptions regarding Swaziland school supervision programme
P. Kabali-Kagwa Can Whole School Organisation Development (WSOD), as an intervention, impact on the quality of life in our communities?
M. Keregero &
L. S. Simelane
The social adjustment of Grade 1 pupils: A case study of Siphofaneni and Duze Primary Schools
C. M. Magagula &
T. Maphalala
Education for development and quality of life in the context of Swaziland
C. M. Magagula &
A. M. Nxumalo
The impact of admission practices and procedures in promoting quality of life
T. K. Majela Effects of death on students and effective coping strategies
E. Mazibuko The search for quality in the curriculum: How do we find it?
N. Mndebele Swaziland secondary/high school students' risks that may promote HIV infection and the spread of AIDS
K. W. Motshabi A correlational study of students' attitudes and performance in English language at junior secondary level in Botswana
L. Nyati-Ramahobo Education for the twenty-first century and the quality of life
M. M. Sakoane Reasons For Low Enrolment in LDTC Distance Education Programmes
E. M. Sebatane &
J. M. Moorosi
Integrating children with special needs into regular school for enhancing their quality of life in the classrooms
S. M. Setoi English language policy derails Basotho educational destiny
R. J. Stronkhorst The importance of proper selection and streaming procedures for failure or success of secondary school students

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Authors: Mfanakithi S. Dlamini1 & Dr Marietta P. Dlamini2, 1St Michael’s High School and Department of Agricultural Education & Extension, 2University of Swaziland

Title: Factors related to student unrest in Swaziland high schools as perceived by head-teachers, teachers and students

The objectives were to determine agreement/disagreement on the grouped factors, the magnitude and direction of relationships existing among the personal characteristics (as confounding variables) and grouped factors, and, the nature of the grouped factors related to student unrest. A descriptive-correlational research was conducted using a questionnaire.

The main findings were: students only agreed with the Teacher-related domain as factor of student unrest. The teachers, administrators and also students agreed that the Administration-related domain is a factor of student unrest. Further, the teachers, administrators and students agreed that the Other-related domain is a factor of student unrest. The relationships between the Teacher, Administration and Other-related factors ratings and personal characteristics of sub-samples, where applicable, (age, teaching experience, level of education, gender, location, region and type of school) were measured and found to be not contaminating the findings. The factor analysis of Teacher-related items of student unrest identified two factors: in-classroom and out-of-classroom grouped variables. The factor analysis of Administration-related items highlighted two types of factors related to student unrest: an authoritarian administration style and poor organisational strategies. The factor analysis of Other-related items picked two types of factors related to student unrest: social-cultural influences and poor learning environment.

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Author: Kamanja Gathu, Department of Education, University of Swaziland

Title: The search for gender sensitive curriculum and school practices: Future directions

This paper is an attempt to share some of the views that address gender concerns in education and specifically in curriculum and school practices. The author argues that it is difficult to achieve gender equality unless teachers are sensitive to the differential in treatment offered between boys and girls and which are reinforced by past gendered experiences.

The paper reveals that most of the research in the developing countries has not been able to address the question of "quality" education that girls receive. The author takes a position that the under representation of women in education is a product of their marginalisation. The paper tries to show the crucial role played by the hidden curriculum. The paper tries to show how the delivery of content; methodology, time-table arrangement, teacher - pupil interaction, the learning space and the instructional resources are gender biased. The paper tries to highlight some of the issues that need to be addressed to overcome the problem of women under-representation in education . These are the issues that relate to sex-stereotyping within the curriculum, its delivery and the school practices. The paper then suggests a way forward in terms of future directions.

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Author: Constantine S. Gumbi1 & Prof. Barnabas M. Dlamini2, 1Institute of Development Management (IDM) and 2University of Swaziland

Title: Head teachers' perceptions regarding Swaziland school supervision programme

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of head teachers regarding supervision of teaching and learning by inspectors in Swaziland schools in terms of the role of inspectors, their effectiveness, their professional activities and their work ethic.

Questionnaires were used to collect data. The population studied were head teachers in secondary schools in Swaziland.

Results revealed that their role was critically important but, the inspectors were not supervising teaching and learning at a satisfactory level. The inspectors needed to improve in the areas of: assisting teachers acquire teaching material and other inputs, ensuring that subject teaching is in accordance with professional standards, producing annual reports of their subject activities and visiting schools for subject supervision purposes.

Training head teachers to supervise their own schools was reported to be one of the best ways of improving the supervision of teaching and learning in Swaziland schools. Head teachers perceptions tended to agree on how they viewed the Swaziland school inspection programme irrespective of place (district) of work.

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Authors: Teacher Inservice Project (presented by Philippa Kabali-Kagwa, University of the Western Cape

Title: Can Whole School Organisation Development (WSOD), as an intervention, impact on the quality of life in our communities?

In our work in schools in the townships in the Western Cape, South Africa, we are struck by the impact the urban lifestyle has on the quality of the life of the community and the schools. Children are exposed to drugs, violence, crime, abuse and the breakdown of the home and family life is common.

What can schools do to begin to address these problems? The Teacher Inservice Project (TIP) believes that the broad purpose of education is to contribute towards creating a society which is vibrant, prosperous, and safe, and which holds the underlying respect for the rights of the individual and human dignity. Working out of an action research paradigm, TIP attempts to build the organisational capacity of the school so that it functions more coherently, and through having a strong organisational base, is able to meet the challenges of change and development in order to provide quality, relevant and purposeful education, and thus enhance the quality of life of its community.

This paper will explore the impact whole school organisational development has on the school, and the ways this impacts on quality of life of the broader community. We will look at the constraints that are experienced and tentatively look at ways of broadening this impact.

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Authors: Dr. Mariam M. Keregero and L. S. Simelane, Home Economics, University of Swaziland

Title: The Social Adjustment of Grade 1 Pupils: A Case Study of Siphofaneni and Duze Primary Schools

Presently, there is an on-going debate concerning the benefits of pre-school or childhood education in Swaziland. A study was undertaken to compare the level of social development of Grade 1 pupils who attended to pre-school (PAPS) and those who did not (PNAPS). The sample population consisted of 91 Grade 1 pupils from Siphofaneni and Duze Primary Schools who enrolled in January 1997. The study was descriptive correlational employing interview schedules and questionnaires. Content validity of the instrument was established by a panel of experts that included pre-school inspectors and lecturers from the University of Swaziland, Luyengo. A KR reliability coefficients of 0.83 was obtained with regard to the internal consistency of the interview schedule and 0.91 for the questionnaire.

Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) to establish means, frequencies, standard deviations, F probability and correlations. Findings showed that out of the 44 statements, there were significant differences between PAPS and PNAPS in the following 3 statements: "the child cries easily" (p < 0.002) in favour of the PNAPS; "I like teasing other children" (p < 0.038) in favour of the PNAPS and "the child is always quiet" (p < 0.038) in favour of the PAPS .

It was concluded that pre-school experience does not make any significant difference in the social development and adjustment of Grade 1 pupils.

It was recommended that monitoring the pre-schools and the curriculum they offer, and training preschool teachers may be a step in the right direction to improving the PAPS so that they may differ in social development and adjustment from the PNAPS.

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Author: Dr. Cisco M. Magagula1 & Tizie Maphalala2, 1Institute of Distance Education and 2Educational Foundations & Management, University of Swaziland

Title: Education for development and quality of life in the context of Swaziland

As the twenty-first century approach, the quality of life in the Developing World does not seem to be improving. The Developing World is still faced with economic, political, social, and cultural challenges. In the area of poverty, it is reported that more than one billion people in the Developing World live in abject poverty (World Bank, 1990). Also, one fifth of the Developing World's population goes hungry every night, while a quarter lack access to clean drinking water (UNDP, 1994).

In the health sector, people in the Developing World have shorter life-span than those in the developed World. For example, life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is about 50 years compared to almost 80 years in Japan (World Bank, 2990). A mortality rate among children less than five years in South Asia exceeds 170 deaths per thousands, while in Sweden it is fewer than 10 deaths (ibid.). In the education sector, more than 110 million children in the Developing World lack access to primary education (ibid.).

This paper discusses "education for development" and the improvement of quality of life. The paper explains the concept of "education for development" and "quality of life ". The formal education system of Swaziland is used as point of reference. For that reason, the paper reviews the educational policies and goals of the formal education system of Swaziland. This is followed by an analysis of the challenges which permeate the system such as inadequacy of resources and facilities, inefficiency, inadequate curriculum, inequity, the school leaver problem, unavailability of manpower, and the issue of funding education. The paper concludes by suggesting strategies which ought to be undertaken to implement and sustain the conceived education for development and the improvement of quality of life.

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Author: Dr. Cisco M. Magagula1 & Dr. A. M. Nxumalo2, 1Institute of Distance Education and 2Educational Foundations & Management, University of Swaziland

Title: The impact of admission practices and procedures in promoting quality of life

Due to the pyramidal structure of the education system, the shortage of spaces in the various levels of the educational system and the high competition for admission into the so called better schools, this study undertook to determine:

(i) government's policies and procedures for admitting pupils into grade 1, form 1 and form 4;

(ii) the extent to which schools follow (or do not follow) government policies and procedures for admitting pupils in grade 1, form 1 and form 4; and

(iii) the impact of the admission practices and procedures on improving quality of life for the Swazi citizens.

Data for this study emanated from a pilot study. The data were collected through face-to-face interview method using a semi-structured interview schedule, and through telephone interviews with selected key informants (i.e., head teachers, regional education officers, and some Ministry of Education Officers). Also, data were collected from admission policy documents of the Ministry of Education and the selected schools.

The results indicated that head teachers did not necessarily follow the official admission policies and procedures of the Ministry of Education because of a number of reasons including, pressure from parents, communities, and civil servants. Another reason was the view of the head teachers that the admission policies and procedures of the Ministry of Education were outdated. Consequently, they invented their own admission criteria some of which appeared to contradict the overall goal of the Ministry of Education (i.e., of improving quality of life).

The extent at which these preliminary findings are also true of all the schools in the country is an issue for the main study .

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Author: Thelma K Majela, Guidance & Counselling Division

Title: Effects of death on students and effective coping strategies

Research and literary review has adequately revealed the massive challenges and risks that the contemporary school going population is faced with. The challenges relate to the psycho-social, economic, political and cultural transformation of the current society. These pressures predispose the students to vaned stresses leading to heightened stress levels.

It is therefore, the intention of this paper to look at death as a prevalent source of stress for students, explore the myths surrounding it, the impact it has on students and suggest what the schools can do to develop pro-active psycho-educational and preventive intervention models.

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Author: Edmund Z. Mazibuko, Curriculum & Teaching, University of Swaziland

Title: The search for quality in the curriculum: How do we find it?

Improving the quality of schools is a key topic in current discussion in education. This is the case not only in Swaziland, but internationally. The paper discusses issues concerning quality in education in general. The major considerations addressed in the paper include:

The concept of quality, the criteria which may be used for its demarcation, the categories in which it may be defined and rendered intelligible;

Focus on teachers and the quality of education;

Expectations of schools and the curriculum;

Quality and curriculum development;

Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting ways that can help bring about high quality education and the way in which it may be employed in the framing and discussion of policy matters in educational institutions.

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Author: Nozipho Mndebele, National Curriculum Centre, Swaziland

Title: Swaziland secondary/high school students’ risks that may promote HIV infection and the spread of AIDS

A questionnaire will be administered to Swaziland Secondary/High school students to determine their cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural risks that could promote HIV infection and the spread of AIDS.

It is predicted that in order to satisfy the need to belong, to be loved, to be accepted and to experience sex, the secondary/high school students would wish to have sex with more than one boyfriend or girlfriend, not want to use condoms, not perceive to be at risk and would make love under alcohol and drug influence. These risks are expected to place the students under the threat of HIV infections.

Theoretical and practical implications of the findings in this study will be provided as an essential basis and rationale for the introduction of the AIDS prevention programme in all Swaziland schools.

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Author: Kgosi Willard Motshabi, Motswedi Secondary School, Botswana

Title: A correlational study of students' attitudes and performance in English language at junior secondary level in Botswana.

The role played by attitudes in influencing performances in English language learning has not been thoroughly investigated in Botswana and many other African countries.

The relationship between the Botswana junior secondary school students' attitudes towards English, and their academic performance are investigated in this paper. The study compares the attitudes and performance of students in the low, medium and high socio-economic groups. Comparisons according to gender and geographic location are also carried out.

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Author: Dr. Lydia Nyati-Ramahobo, Department of Primary Education, University of Botswana

Title: Education for the twenty-first century and the quality of life

In order to improve the quality of life in the twenty first century, education should foster four life skills: Learning to know, to do, to live together and to be.

What has been and should be the role of educational research in facilitating the acquisition of these skills?

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Author: Mangose 'Malineo Sakoane

Title: Reasons for low enrolment in LDTC distance education programmes

Limited educational qualifications become a handicap in improving the quality of life of people. Hence Distance Education (DE) institutions are established mainly to provide opportunities for upgrading one's qualifications.

The study described in this paper investigated why many potential students indicate willingness to engage in LDTC's DE yet the net annual enrolment figures were low. According to the records of the Lesotho Distance Teaching Centre (LDTC), most potential students without either JC or COSC qualifications were provided, on request, with prospectus and the enrolment forms accordingly yet most of them ended up not enrolling. Questions asked were whether the prospectus and the enrolment forms were informative; how much potential students were exposed to LDTC correspondence courses and general attitudes towards these courses.

The findings proved that poor communication; limited number of courses offered at LDTC; centralized services of LDTC; financial constraints and less comprehensive prospectus hinder potential students to enrol. The study recommended that LDTC should update its communication and feedback mechanisms. Moreover the prospectus should be scrutinised, pre-tested and modified.

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Author: E. M. Sebatane & J M Moorosi, National Teacher Training College, Lesotho

Title: Integrating children with special needs into regular school for enhancing their quality of life in the classrooms

The study investigates whether or not children with disabilities integrated in the ten pilot schools in Lesotho show an improvement in academic and social life in the classroom. The study is based on the first that the Government of Lesotho, through the Ministry of Education - Special Education Unit has embarked on a national programme to provide education and care for children with disabilities. This intention is to be accomplished through promoting the integration of children with special educational needs into the regular school system at all levels. As a result, the assumption in this study is that caring for, and integrating these children into regular school systems, will not only help them develop their capabilities confidently, but will also enhance their quality of life.

Questionnaires and interviews are used to collect data. The study population is from the ten (10) pilot schools and the Special Education Unit of the Ministry of Education. Fifty percent (50%) of the population of teachers and children in the pilot schools is taken. Also, five (5) randomly sampled children without disabilities who share classes with the children with disabilities are taken.

It is hoped the results of the study will reflect that the academic and social life of children with disabilities in the ten pilot schools is changing for better.

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Author: S. M. Setoi, Institute of Extra Mural Studies, National University of Lesotho

Title: English language policy derails Basotho educational destiny

Acquisition of English language skills is obviously a determining factor in the improvement of learners' academic achievement in almost all subjects at school, and hence improvement of quality of life through success in education, and in Lesotho, specific provisions through English language policy, might enhance this endeavour.

This paper highlights simultaneous and successive strategies of dual language development and argues that whether simultaneous or successive, second language acquisition parallels that of the first language. The child learning a second language recapitulates the learning process of a native speaker of the language. It emphasises the importance of environment in a second language development, and differentiates between acquisition and learning of a second language.

The paper goes on to explore the contribution that teacher knowledge, experiences and perceptions make in improving student performance in the COSC examinations. It then suggests that acquisition is more important that learning in language development, and also the criteria and conditions necessary in the choice of a better L2 policy position.

Finally it recommends that contrary to the current policy all students should learn in a second language from Standard 1 to reduce privileging some students over others through English-Medium Schools.

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Author: Drs. R. J. Stronkhorst, Department of In-Service, UNISWA

Title: The importance of proper selection and streaming procedures for failure or success of secondary school students

Failure in examinations is not uncommon unfortunately. In Swaziland for instance +7000 students wrote the O-level mathematics exam in 1995, of which +60% failed; +2000 wrote the biology exam of which 50% failed. Also, the results in English are consistently disastrous. For many of these young people it will have a lasting and often dramatic influence on the quality of their future life.

In Swaziland the senior secondary school examinations have been, and still are, largely under control of the Cambridge Examinations Council. This paper discusses factors that have an influence on the outcome of these examinations most of which can be controlled by Swaziland but some cannot.

The main focus of the paper will be on current selection and streaming practices for specific secondary school subjects which fall under the control of the school administrations. From a survey done in high schools in Swaziland it was found that poor examination results in certain subjects can be attributed, to a considerable extent, to limited selection and streaming practices in schools.

Recommendations are put forward to assist schools in their effort to improve on this. Furthermore the need and importance of clearly articulated government policies related to the aims of secondary education, options to be offered and selection and streaming practices, are emphasised.

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Last modified:  26-Apr-99