An Assessment of Mentoring Programmes for Novice Secondary School Teachers’ Competencies in Mbeya Region, Tanzania
Keywords:Mentoring programmes, novice teachers, secondary school, teaching competencies
AbstractMentoring programmes are cost- effective and interesting in helping one to grow in different teaching methodologies for practicing secondary school teachers and learning processes for novice teachers. When mentoring is carried out in one’s early career development, novice teachers become competent and execute their work with confidence. Yet, there are a few studies which have so far been conducted concerning the assessment of mentoring programmes for novice secondary school teachers’ competencies. Specifically, the study examined the forms of mentoring offered to novice teachers in secondary schools in Mbeya region; and established stakeholders’ perceptions on mentoring programmes in developing novice teachers’ teaching competencies in secondary schools in Mbeya region. A descriptive survey research design utilizing quantitative and qualitative approaches was used to a sample size of 110 respondents. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively while qualitative data being analysed through content analysis. The findings revealed that different forms of mentoring were practiced in Mbeya region. These included formal and informal mentoring, instance and group mentoring, situational and supervisory mentoring where each form of mentoring benefited novice teachers towards teaching and learning. Also, the study revealed positive perception of mentoring programs towards developing novice teachers’ competence in secondary schools from stakeholders. Further, novice teachers viewed their mentors as models to help understanding of their own strengths and weakness, as well as acquiring problem solving skills, thereby filling the gap created by limited practices and experiences not covered during teacher training. It was recommended that there is a need to strengthen programmes in secondary schools in order to support novice teachers’ progress in the beginning of their teaching career.