Initial teacher education in selected Southern and East African countries: common issues and ongoing challenges

29 Oct 2020

This article begins by outlining the common issues raised in a number of research reports on initial teacher education in developing countries. Two overarching themes are identified, namely (i) attracting high quality recruits to the profession and retaining them and (ii) implementing supportive policies and practices for ongoing teacher learning. A comparative description is then provided of initial teacher education in four selected Southern and East African countries, namely Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. A number of the issues emanating from these country descriptions are outlined and discussed, namely entry requirements and duration of primary-school teacher education, status of the teaching profession, community and identity, language of instruction in teacher education and complexity of the educational policy framework. The article concludes by calling for an identification of strategic pressure points to improve the link between increasing the number of teachers and enhancing the quality of teaching