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Title: Higher education and teacher education in Namibia : a case study of the former Windhoek College of Education's merger with the Faculty of Education at the University of Namibia
Author: Tjitemisa , Collin Kavetjindire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 897X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
The global expansion of higher education builds on the progress made in achieving universal primary and secondary education. Institutions of higher education prepare employees with academic knowledge, professional and technical skills and to undertake research to develop and Support the knowledge-economy. Similarly, teacher education research plays a central role in the training of teachers so that they can prepare learners for the challenges of the changing world. Many countries, including small developing states such as Namibia, have therefore, embarked on improving the performance of their education systems by enhancing the quality, and increasing the quantity of qualified teachers. In the light of these trends, and insights derived from the related international literature on higher education in small states, this study examines the merger of the former Windhoek College of Education (WeE) with the Faculty of Education at the National University of Namibia (UNAM). The study draws upon the helmeneuticlinterpretive paradigm and adopts a largely qualitative and case study research strategy. Empirical data were gathered through the analysis of documentary materials, field observations, qualitative interviews, focus group discussions and by drawing upon my own experiential knowledge as a teacher and lecturer in post-independent Namibia. The findings suggest that the merger process has both strengths and challenges for teacher education in Namibia. In terms of strengths, the merger has expanded access to university programmes and has unified and improved the quality of teacher education programmes. The merger has also introduced more effective quality control measures, and this enables teacher education programmes offered in the country to meet international standards. The challenges focus upon the short time period allowed for the process; difficulties with the management oflabour related issues; loss ofthe former college identity, history and culture; and imbalances between theory and practice within the new degree programme. The new degree programme also helped to increase teachers' salaries and the budget allocation for this, but it has also had a negative impact on UNAM's finances and the rating and quality ofthe university programmes. Most of the lecturers from the former WeE, who joined UNAM, were not qualified to teach at the university level. As a result, the university had to upgrade the qualifications of some lecturers from the former WCE through staff development programmes. UNAM also had to renovate the facilities at the former weE and this has been a costly process. Further, UNAM is a research oriented institution and this raises concerns over its capacity to train enough teachers for the primary sector. This contributed to a recent shortage of teachers in Namibia and subsequently the reintroduction of a diploma programme for teachers in January 2014. In concluding, it is m;gued that these findings are consistent with the international literature, which acknowledges that many governments have shifted their agendas and priorities towards improving the quality of education through improved programmes of teacher education. The conclusions also consider implications for future policy and practice in Namibia, for teacher education and higher education at UNAM and at the national level, for the international literature on higher education in small states and for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.682356  DOI: Not available
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