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Perceptions of Pre-Service teachers Towards Teaching: A Case study of the Eritrean Institute of Technology by Ravinder Rena & Ali Suleman

Perceptions of Pre-Service teachers Towards Teaching: A Case study of the Eritrean Institute of Technology by Ravinder Rena & Ali Suleman

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Published by Kolapo
Abstract
In Eritrea, education has been considered as the corner stone of economic and social development. Since investment in education has a direct and positive effect on productivity as well as development, therefore investment in education is imperative. The Government of Eritrea (GoE) has been working hard to provide free education from pre-primary to the higher education level. As part of the recent educational reforms, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has been emphasizing on student-centered and interactive approach. This paper explores the teacher education in Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT) with a special focus on pre-service teachers’ recruitment and their perceptions towards teaching. The study examines and assesses the background of pre-service teachers who are part of the teacher education programme at the College of Education. This data is also compares with that of College of Science and College of Engineering in terms of their academic performance. The study further probes different views of the pre-service teachers on teaching that in turn influences the learning outcomes of the children at schools.
Abstract
In Eritrea, education has been considered as the corner stone of economic and social development. Since investment in education has a direct and positive effect on productivity as well as development, therefore investment in education is imperative. The Government of Eritrea (GoE) has been working hard to provide free education from pre-primary to the higher education level. As part of the recent educational reforms, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has been emphasizing on student-centered and interactive approach. This paper explores the teacher education in Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT) with a special focus on pre-service teachers’ recruitment and their perceptions towards teaching. The study examines and assesses the background of pre-service teachers who are part of the teacher education programme at the College of Education. This data is also compares with that of College of Science and College of Engineering in terms of their academic performance. The study further probes different views of the pre-service teachers on teaching that in turn influences the learning outcomes of the children at schools.

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Published by: Kolapo on Nov 18, 2010
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11/18/2010

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PerceptionsofPerceptionsofPerceptionsofPerceptionsofPrPrPrPre- -- -ServiceTeacherstowardsTeaching:ACaseServiceTeacherstowardsTeaching:ACaseServiceTeacherstowardsTeaching:ACaseServiceTeacherstowardsTeaching:ACasestudyonstudyonstudyonstudyontheEritreatheEritreatheEritreatheEritreaInstituteofTechnologInstituteofTechnologInstituteofTechnologInstituteofTechnolog
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RavinderRena* RavinderRena* RavinderRena* RavinderRena*
NamibiasUniversityofScienceandTechnologyWindhoek,NAMIBIA
AliSulemaAliSulemaAliSulemaAliSuleman
CollegeofEducationEritreanInstituteofTechnology,Eritrea
Abstract Abstract Abstract Abstract
InEritrea,educationhasbeenconsideredasthecornerstoneofeconomicandsocialdevelopment.Sinceinvestmentineducationhasadirectandpositiveeffectonproductivityaswellasdevelopment,thereforeinvestmentineducationisimperative.TheGovernmentofEritrea(GoE)hasbeenworkinghardtoprovidefreeeducationfrompre-primarytothehighereducationlevel.Aspartoftherecenteducationalreforms,theMinistryofEducation(MoE)hasbeenemphasizingonstudent-centeredandinteractiveapproach.ThispaperexplorestheteachereducationinEritreaInstituteofTechnology(EIT)withaspecialfocusonpre-serviceteachers’recruitmentandtheirperceptionstowardsteaching.Thestudyexaminesandassessesthebackgroundofpre-serviceteacherswhoarepartoftheteachereducationprogrammeattheCollegeofEducation.ThisdataisalsocompareswiththatofCollegeofScienceandCollegeofEngineeringintermsoftheiracademicperformance.Thestudyfurtherprobesdifferentviewsofthepre-serviceteachersonteachingthatinturninfluencesthelearningoutcomesofthechildrenatschools.
Keywords Keywords Keywords Keywords 
:Pre-serviceTeachers,RecruitmentandPerception,Eritrea,academicperformance,QualityofEducationJEL:A22;A23;I22;I2
1.INTRODUCTIO1.INTRODUCTIO1.INTRODUCTIO1.INTRODUCTION
Eritrealiesbetween12and18degreesnorth,and36and44degreeseastlongitude.Thecountryoccupies121,144sqkmoflandareaandisapproximatelythesamesizeasEngland.EritreahasanimportantpositionnortheastoftheHornofAfrica.Thecountrypossesses1000kmcoastline.EritreaisboundedinthewestbySudan,onthesouthby
 
1
 
This article is a revised version of the paper submitted in the National Workshop on the theme ImprovingQuality of Education by Focusing Teaching in Eritrea held at Hotel Intercontinental –Asmara 24-25 January2008.
 
Ravinder Rena & Ali Suleman
 
RHEA 
,vol.2.no.1,24-4
 
25
EthiopiaandDjibouti,SaudiArabiaandYemenintheeastacrosstheRedSea.Thenewlyindependentyoungnation,withapopulationof4.5millionisgeographicallyplaced,inthemostimportantbutstrategicallysensitivepositionoftheregion.EritreawonalongwarofliberationagainstEthiopiaandfinallygotitsindependenceinMay1993(EncyclopediaWikipedia,2006;Rena,2006).Eritreahasadiversepopulationreflectingmanylanguages,cultures,andreligion.Atthetertiarylevel,therewasonehighereducationinstitutei.e.UniversityofAsmar
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,whichusedtoproducesubstantialnumberofmanpowertothenation.ThenewlyestablishedEritreaInstituteofTechnology(EIT)atMai-Nefhipossessesfourcollegesandfiveothercollegesarelocatedindifferentpartsofthecountry.Thetotalnumberofstudentsatalllevelswasabout186,000in1991andreachedabout700,000in2006(MoE,2006b).Eritreaplacesstrongemphasisoneducation.TheMacroPolicyofEritreastates,amongotherthings,thatinthelongterm,Eritreawillbeproducingknowledgeintensivegoodsandservicesabletopenetratetheworldmarket(GoE,1994).Theemphasisoneducationisalsoreflectedonthegovernmentspolicyonpovertyeradication(Rena,2006).However,Eritrea'sliteracylevelremainslow.Asmuchas40%ofEritreanslackbasicliteracy.About50%ofEritreanchildrendropoutofschoolattheelementarylevel,andjust13%ofhighschoolstudentsgraduate(MoE,2004).Mostofthedropoutsbelongtothepoorestsegmentsofsociety,particularlythosefromruralEritrea(Rena,2007b).Asinallothercountries,educationinEritreahasbeenconsideredasacornerstoneofeconomicandsocialdevelopment.Itisstronglybelievedthatinvestmentineducationhasadirectandpositiveeffectonproductivityaswellasdevelopmentofsocialandculturalactivities.Recognizingtheimportanceofeducationinachievingoveralldevelopmentalgoals,theGovernmentofEritrea(GoE)hasexertedeffortsindevelopingeducationasoneofthestrategiesforhumanresourcedevelopment.Educationisafundamentalrightofeverycitizeninthiscountry,regardlessoftheirsex,ethnicity,religion,andlearningability.Atpresent,educationisfreestartingfrompre-primarytothehighereducationlevel.TheprovisionofeducationinEritreaisundertheresponsibilityofMinistryofEducation(MoE).Eritreahas,eversincegainingindependence,beencommittedtoincreasingaccessandimprovingqualityofeducation.Notably,elementaryschooleducationinallthenineEritreanlanguageshasbeendevelopedandimplemented.Thespreadofelementaryschoolandmiddleschooleducationandtosomeextenthighschoolleveleducationhasincreased.However,in2002thewholeeducationsystemwaslabeledaswastage(GoE,2002,p:2).Theshortcomingsoftheeducationsystemwereidentifiedasfollows:
 
PerceptionsofPre-ServiceTeacherstowardsTeaching:ACasestudyontheEritreaInstituteofTechnology 
 
RHEA 
,vol.2.no.1,
4-44
26
1
 
Accessatelementary,middleandhighschoollevelswaslowintheacademicyear1999/2000i.e.enrolmentwas38%atelementary,11%atmiddleschooland9%athighschoollevel,2
 
Theopportunityforhighereducationwasalsolow.Onlyaverysmallproportion(1015%)gotchancesofanytypeofhighereducationwhichwasthenconfinedtoUniversityofAsmara,3
 
Theproductsoftheeducationsystemwerenotpreparedforemployment(GoE,2002).Inlinewiththereforms,theprevailingschoolcurriculahavebeenrevisedconsiderably.Inordertoimplementthecurriculum,schoolteachersareadvisedtoshiftfromatraditionalteacher-centeredmodeofdeliverytowardsastudent-centeredandinteractiveapproach(MoE,2006b).Teachershavetobepreparedforsuchshiftofroles.Thisisbecauseteacherscanplayapivotalroleinimplementingsuchreformsandcanmakeadifferenceonstudents’achievements(Fullan,2001).Inordertoprovideaqualityeducationtoeverystudent,anadequatesupplyofcompetentindividualswhoarewillingtoserveasteachersarerequired.Darling-Hammond(2000)alsoprovidesusefulteacher-qualificationinformationandsheindicatesthatthereisalinkbetweenteacherqualificationsandstudentperformance.Herfindingsunderscoretheimportanceofimprovingteacherpre-serviceprogrammesbecauseimprovementsinteacherpreparationareexpectedtoleadtoimprovementsinstudentperformance.ThesenewdemandsonincreasingaccessandimprovingqualityofeducationinEritreaputincreasingdemandsontheMoEinassuringthatallstudentsaretaughtbyqualifiedandcompetentteachers.Therefore,theMoErecognizesthatthesuccessofanyreformintheeducationsectordependslargelyonthequalityofteacherswhich,inturn,dependstoagreatextentonthequalityofteachereducationshe/hehasundergone.Thequalityofteachereducationisinturninfluencedbyanumberoffactors,suchasthequalityofcandidatesenteringintotheteachingprofession,thestandardsthataresetforentryintotheprofession,therelevanceofteachereducationcurricula,inputsintotheprofessionalpreparationofteachereducation,teachingpractice,thequalityofinservicetraining,andtheworkingenvironmentoftheteachers(Lewis,etal.,1999;RenaandEyob,2009).Hence,thequalityofeducationbeingprovidedbecamepolicypriority;asaresulttheGoEinitiatedastructuralreforminordertoimproveaccessandqualityofeducationinthecountry.Inresponsetotheimplementationofthisreform,athighereducation,accesswasdramaticallyincreasedbyopeningseveralhighereducationinstitution
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includingEritreaInstituteofTechnology(EIT).

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