Teacher Education




The Faculty of  Teacher education at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic was established  in 1981 as Gwanda Zintec College  to train temporary teachers who had passed “O” level on the Zimbabwe Integrated National Teachers Education Course (ZINTEC) model.  This was a four-year programme, which was designed to address the critical teacher shortage within an expanded post– independence education system of Zimbabwe.  The programme has since been reduced to a three-year programme.  The college has also introduced a course for those students specializing in Early Childhood Development (ECD).



To provide high caliber Primary School Teacher Education through integrated and extensive exposure of its cadres to values, attitudes and interests compatible with the National Philosophy, which engenders adaptability and experience to quality education in Zimbabwe.  The Faculty’s mission  requires the adoption of a 3-year programme whose objectives are to:

  •  educate and train students in content and skills in all subjects offered in the primary school;
  •  analyze worldwide theories of education through praxis;
  •  carry out action research on a specific learning difficulty experienced by pupils;
  •  undertake an extended Teaching Practice that is intended to produce an effective classroom  practitioner;
  • inculcate in students ; values, attitudes, and cultural interests in accordance with the national philosophy.



The programme has gone through five cycles (intakes 1—11; Intakes 12—16; Intakes 17—23; Intakes 24—29 and Intake 30—34.  The course has three components  comprising a first residential component,  followed by a long period of Teaching Practice (TP) and ends  with the last residential phase, which includes final examinations.  Distance Education forms the core of this programme with students doing much of the course through assignments and seminars, while on TP.  The course has been modified with the first residential phase being 2 terms long, teaching practice being 5 terms long and the final residential course being two terms long,  following a 2-5-2 model.



The course is divided into four main areas of study:

Section One:   Teaching Practice

Section two:  Theory of Education ( General Course/ ECD)

Section Three:  Main Subject

Section Four:  Professional Studies (Syllabus ’A and B’) and Action Research (Syllabus ’C’).



Students do their Teaching Practice in  primary schools in selected provinces.  Students in both the ECD and the General Course embark on Teaching Practice after the first two terms aimed at equipping them with basic teaching skills and theories of learning.  These base-line skills in teaching  all the aspects of the Primary School subjects are then developed over the 5 terms of Teaching Practice during which the students are expected to scheme, plan, teach, evaluate and carry out action research activities  that relate to their field of work.


The college lecturers give professional guidance through at least three supervision visits over the T.P period.  The mentors and the school-based supervisors play an active role  in assisting students during T.P.  Finally, the students are presented to the Department of Teacher Education of the University of Zimbabwe for final assessment in this section before they leave the schools for their last residential course at the Polytechnic.



Theory of Education exposes student teachers to world wide theories of education, their praxis in the Zimbabwean context, analysis of key concepts in education and a rational inquiry into pre-suppositions and grounds for belief in view of education.  This exposure shapes the trainee teachers into classroom practitioners who will influence the Zimbabwean context of learning.  They are transformed agents of change.


Specific subjects on offer  for both the General Course and ECD in this section are:


  • History and Philosophy of Education
  • Sociology and Anthropology of Education
  • Psychology of Education
  • Curriculum Studies.


In addition, the department also offers Special Education, Guidance and Counseling and Comparative Education.



There are eleven subjects covered in this section but the student does only one of the following:


Art, English, Environmental Science, Home Economics, Mathematics, Music, Ndebele, Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Shona, Social Studies.  It is generally expected that a student doing an in-depth study in one of these subjects should have passed the subject with a ’C’ or better at ’O’ level.  This enables students to be proficient in some specialized subjects.  The content of the Main Subject is pitched at ’A’ level standard.




Professional studies Syllabus ‘A’ deals with the application of theories and principles of  teaching and learning.  This component is intended to develop a versatile, resourceful and active primary school classroom practitioner rooted in sound professional ethics for the career.


Professional Studies Syllabus ’B’ embraces content-based studies of the 14 subjects offered in the Primary School.

Art, English, Environmental Science, Health and Life Skills, Home Economics, Mathematics, Music, Ndebele, Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Shona, Social Studies, National and Strategic Studies, Minority Languages (Venda, Tonga, Kalanga, Sotho),


Professional Studies Syllabus ‘C’ exposes students to research methods. Each student is to carry out an Action Research on an identified classroom problem.