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The Competence-Based Advanced Level Mathematics Curriculum: Implications for Students’ Enrolment in one University in Zimbabwe
(2021) Chikusvura, N.; Sibanda, L.; Mathwasa, J.
The study set out to examine the relevance of the competencebased Advanced Level mathematics curriculum for entry into university mathematics-related degree programmes. The study adopted a qualitative approach ingrained in the interpretive paradigm which employed a case study design. Four A-Level mathematics teachers, eighteen Lower Sixth and six Upper Sixth mathematics major students were purposively sampled to respond to semi-structured face-to-face interviews and focus group interviews. The study found that the implementation of the competence-based Advanced Level mathematics curriculum was negatively affected by incompetent teachers and supervisors, lack of resources and lack of support from other stakeholders. The study concluded that these impediments impacted negatively on students who aspired to pursue mathematics-related degree programmes at university and that there is a mismatch on the mathematics units in the competence-based Advanced Level mathematics curriculum and university requirements for mathematics-related degree programmes. The study recommends ministerial corroboration fostering university degree programmes requirements to be taught in high school, stakeholder involvement and continuous professional development for mathematics teachers and supervisors.
Provision of quality education in private schools: reflective practices in low-cost private secondary schools in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe
(2021) Midzi, S.; Sibanda, L.; Mathwasa, J.
Quality in education has become a cause for concern to every stakeholder in education. The study sought to assess the provision of quality education in low-cost private secondary schools in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. The study adopted the interpretivist paradigm in qualitative approach, using a case study design. Semistructured interviews and document analysis were used for collecting thematically analysed data from purposively sampled four school heads and six teachers from lowcost private secondary schools. The study established that in pursuit for quality education, selected schools employed qualified teachers who engage in continuous professional development programmes to sharpen their teaching skills. The findings revealed that the schools understudy are making efforts to offer practical science and computer lessons using the limited resources to ensure the provision of quality education. It emerged that selected schools use e-learning and multimedia resources which arouse learners’ interests and increase the retention rates. It came out that the schools understudy have environmental clubs which work together with school health departments in attending to sanitary issues. Whilst selected schools practiced heterogeneous grouping, the findings revealed that learners with physical disabilities are not enrolled in those schools due to lack of appropriate physical facilities and there are no teachers with relevant expertise to teach learners with special needs. The study revealed that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education provided guidelines in the form of policy documents and circulars to monitor the provision of quality education in the selected schools. Despite the efforts made by low-cost secondary schools in providing quality education, the study found that high staff turnover is negatively affecting the quality of education due to lack of continuity in learning. The findings indicated that inadequate learning resources and infrastructure such as libraries, computer and science laboratories, internet services, and lack of teachers with special needs expertise adversely affected the provision of quality education. The study concludes that lack of financial resources is a hindrance in the provision of quality education in low-cost secondary schools. The study recommends that a comparative study on provision of quality education should be conducted in private trust secondary schools.
Integrating Child Art as a Pedagogical Strategy for Teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Early Childhood Development Level in Bulawayo Central District, Zimbabwe
(2023) Manokore, K.; Sibanda, L.; Shava, G.; Mangena, A.; Muzari, T.; Sibanda, Z.; Mkwelie, N.
As knowledge regarding human development and learning continues evolving due to the global influences it has created an undeniable opportunity in researching on contemporary educational practice. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is influencing educational practice from basic to tertiary education. This study acknowledges that teachers are essential and direct agents to supporting early STEM learning. Thus, this study is predominately a qualitative research approach with an interpretive epistemological and constructivist ontological perspective. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews from ten purposively sampled Early Childhood Development (ECD) teacher participants and formal analysis of 30 child art production (visual analysis of artefacts). The study affirmed that, art practice at ECD is a compatible strategy for early STEMlearning. It was found that ECD learners’ attitudes are receptive of art practice as a constructivist approach. The results revealed that teachers used learner development checklists and child art as a tool to measure learner development and progress in STEM. The findings of the study established that teachers and learners encountered challenges such as limited teaching and learning resources, lack of expertise among some teachers, parental interference and content overload. Despite the indicated challenges, the study concluded that the integration of child art as a pedagogical strategy enhanced imparting of STEM skills among learners at ECD level. The study recommended that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should capacitate ECD teachers through professional development programmes that focus on ECD STEM learning and teaching.
Influential Factors to Financial Management in Chegutu District Secondary Schools of Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe
(2020) Ndhlovu, J.; Sibanda, L.; Mathwasa, J.
The study explored factors that influence financial management in Chegutu District Secondary Schools of Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe. The study was stimulated by the serious financial challenges in secondary schools as characterised by failure to follow laid down procedures, disagreements, inadequate training and lack of knowledge by both school heads and SDC members in managing finances. The interpretive paradigm and qualitative approach guided the study. A case study design was adopted and purposively sampled participants constituted five school heads, five School Development Committee chairpersons, five School Development Committee treasurers and five school bursars. Thematically analysed data was collected through semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The findings revealed that manuals and policy circulars influence the way schools formulate their budgets as they give clear steps that should be followed. It also emerged from the study that the school finance committee is responsible for drawing the school budget after consultation with other stakeholders. It was found that training of school heads, School Development Committee members and bursars influence financial management to a larger extent and there is a very strong relationship between financial management training and effectiveness of financial management in secondary schools. The study concluded that good working relationship among stakeholders and lack of knowledge by both school heads and School Development Committee members in managing school finances greatly influence the way they execute their duty of managing school finances. The study recommends further research that explores strategies that can be established for improving the way schools manage finances.
Teaching Social Skills as a Proactive Discipline Management Strategy: Experiences of Selected Secondary Schools in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe
(2018) Sibanda, L.
The study examined how secondary schools use proactive teaching social skills strategy to maintain discipline among learners in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. The study was ingrained in interpretive paradigm, adopted qualitative approach and employed a case study design. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four secondary schools and participants who comprised two education officers, four school heads; four school counsellors, twenty members of the disciplinary committee, forty prefects and four school development committee chairpersons. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews, and were analysed thematically. The study established that learners were taught social skills during guidance and counselling lessons and club sessions which were part of the co-curricular programmes offered in schools. It was found that the topics taught during the teaching of social skills included conduct, relationships, community involvement; decision-making skills, communication skills, drug and substance abuse, career guidance, stress management, honesty and integrity, conflict resolution, assertiveness, self-awareness and health issues, among others. The study also revealed that some learners were engaged in community activities to reach out to underprivileged members of the society. The results further indicated that the teaching social skills strategy was effective because it taught learners to be responsible for their behaviour and contributed to the reduction of unbecoming behaviour cases in schools. Nevertheless, the teaching social skills strategy faced constraints mainly from some teachers’ and parents’ negative attitudes towards social skills activities. The study concluded that the use of proactive teaching social skills strategy yielded positive results as schools exposed learners to multiple activities that contributed to the modification of learner behaviour which created a safe teaching and learning environment. The study recommended that schools should intensify the training programmes for teachers and parents to positively influence their attitudes towards the teaching of social skills in order to reinforce positive behaviour among learners.