Challenges Preventing Science Teachers from Performing Natural Science Practical Works in Selected Primary Schools in the Oshana Region, Namibia (Published)
Despite the importance of practical work, there are several factors preventing science teachers, especially at primary schools from including practical work in their teaching routine. The main objective of this study was to investigate the challenges preventing science teachers from carrying out Natural Science practical works in selected primary schools in the Oshana Region. A qualitative research approach employing interview schedules and observation as the research instruments was used to collect data on the challenges faced by the science teachers. A sample of 4 Natural Science teachers (2 teaching grade 6 and 2 teaching grade 7) was chosen using the purposive sampling method to participate in the study. The study found that the major factors preventing the teachers from carrying out practical works in the selected primary schools include lack of well equipped functional laboratories, no provision for practical work on the teaching time table, teachers’ lack of experiences in preparing experiments and handling of some equipment, and the lack of laboratory assistance. However, as part of measures to encourage the use of practical works in teaching primary school Natural Science in the study area, the participants indicated that relevant materials and equipment should be made available at the beginning of every academic year. It was also indicated that regular capacity building workshops should be held to train the teachers on conducting experiments and handling equipment. Thus, it was recommended that the school management should devise means of addressing the identified challenges in order to enable the teachers include practical work in the teaching of Natural Science.