Nyoni et al
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3 (5), pp. 206-216, July 2013
ISSN: 2276-7789 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 102412138
Bridging Courses: The Doctor’s Prescription for Dwindling Student Teacher Enrolments at Teacher Education Colleges in Zimbabwe?
Mika Nyoni1*, Hedwick Chinyani2 and Tsitsi Nyoni3
1Lecturer in the Curriculum Studies Department at Great Zimbabwe University.
2Lecturer in the Curriculum Studies Department at Great Zimbabwe University.
Email: chinyanih @ gmail. com
3Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Development at Great Zimbabwe University.
Email: tsinyoni @ gmail. com
*Corresponding Author’s Email: Email: mikanyoni @ gmail. com
This paper explores the
perceptions of students and lecturers as regards the
recently introduced bridging courses programme in teacher
education in Zimbabwe. To gather data for this paper, the
qualitative research paradigm was employed. A case study of
teacher education colleges that have adopted and implemented
the bridging courses concept was done. Interviews with the
administrative authorities at the teachers’ colleges,
students and lecturers were done to ascertain their views
about the programme. Observations of the situation on the
ground were also done. The study brings up the rationale for
the programme and illuminates the situation obtaining in
teacher education colleges in relation to the way it
operates and its difference from the mainstream teacher
education programme. It establishes that although it is a
way of boosting enrolments for teacher education programmes,
it raises such issues as the probability that all the
students will pass, what to do with the failing students,
the amount of time spent pursuing one or two subjects at the
same time masquerading as a teacher education student. Thus,
these issues become grey areas which the responsible
authorities need to clear to ensure viability of the
programme. This paper therefore recommends the adoption of
the conventional bridging course concept akin to the one in
many worldwide universities whereby a student is assisted in
handling the concepts in the bridged course.
Key Words: bridging course, teacher education, conventional, mainstream programme