Tales of Early Childhood Education Teachers in Government Schools in Chipata, Zambia

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJAR.2014.09.01.Art010

Authors : Daniel L. Mpolomoka, Moono, Muvombo, Mutinta N. Matimba, Tuke Chulu, Joseph Mate, Mubita Situmbeko


This article houses findings of a study that uncovered the provision of early childhood education (ECE) in government schools with a bias towards learners with special education needs. It focused on challenges faced by teachers in providing educational services to children with special education needs at the early childhood education level in the targeted government schools. The rationale of the study was to solicit trends-in-practice among ECE teachers through their stories, thus partly help other teachers who shall read findings of this study tap into their engagements with ECE learners; and partly nurture children’s development in a right way in early years. Qualitative methodology was used because it allowed for in-depth realities faced in 5 schools in Chipata. The study employed a descriptive research method for two years from 2016 to 2017, comprising five primary schools in Chipata District, Zambia, were conveniently sampled for the study. Interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaires were used to collect data, which was analysed qualitatively. The study revealed challenges that are quite universal for teaching early childhood education learners. Teachers in this study expressed the need for reduced class sizes, adequate learning and teaching materials, teacher extrinsic motivation, additional support services from the government, and an accommodative curriculum. The study further revealed that early childhood education centres in government schools in Zambia at large have poor learning environments specially to support the learners with special education needs. The study showed that collaboration between early childhood education teachers and parents is necessary for the wellbeing of their children. The study recommends that the government should invest in infrastructure development for ECE centres; and that schools should purchase appropriate learning and teaching materials and stock ECE centres.

Keywords: Early Childhood, Learner, Schools, Special Education Needs, Teacher.


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