Team Teaching Considered For Swollen Classes


The Minister of Basic Education Bagalatia Arone says there is consideration to introduce team teaching at schools to reduce the student-teacher ration as well as absorb unemployed graduate and temporary teachers.

Teacher trade unions have repeatedly preached against the student–teacher ratio that has been increasing gradually over the past years, blaming the deteriorating examination results in the country on it. The unions have always said the increasing student–teacher ratio and/or class size has some future negative effects on the general quality of education.  

However, this week Arone told Parliament that his ministry was currently exploring the possibility of reducing the student-teacher ration through team teach which would allow more than one teacher in a class at a time.On the other hand, he said this would also help the ministry absorb more unemployed graduate and temporary teachers.

“But this is also subject to availability of posts and resources,” he said. He stated that the idea to explore team teaching in the country followed a benchmarking exercise by ministry officials in Finland.“When I became the minister, we had a team of our ministry officials, which included my predecessor who went to benchmark on the best practices on how countries like Finland have been dealing with large classes. Then they made that recommendation. Personally, I have been attracted to this concept because it has worked wonders in Singapore and Finland,” he said.

Arone indicated that there were a number of discussions taking place within the ministry to ensure that the ministry dealt with quality issues, workload issues and issues of unemployed teachers as it was their plan to hire teachers in large numbers.“One last example that we would be taking to Cabinet is to introduce subject specialisation at upper primary level,” he added.

Arone was responding to a question asked by Member of Parliament (MP) for Francistown East Buti Billy who asked the minister to update the House on the strategies in place to absorb all temporary teachers to permanent positions and the number of temporary teachers who were absorbed in the Francistown region from 2015 to 2018. Billy also asked the minister when the ministry would specifically tell the House when team teaching would be introduced.

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