An exploration of novice teachers’ experiences in public secondary schools, Uganda


Rose Akullo

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The experiences during the career entry phase of teaching plays a key role in shaping novice teachers’ practices and identity. The initial year is often filled with challenges as well as positive experiences. This study explored novice teachers’ experiences in public secondary schools in Uganda. A qualitative case study design was used to explore the nature of the novice teachers’ experiences as well as factors that contribute to the successful or challenging transition into the profession that many first year teachers face. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were used to ascertain novice teachers’ experience in their first year of service and the kind of support they receive from head of school and district educational office. In addition to seven novice teachers, four head teachers and one education officer were also interviewed to find out how novice teachers are helped to navigate through the career entry phase. Findings suggest that novice teachers face several problems during the entry phase. Challenges include unsupportive environment, poor remuneration, heavy workload, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate instructional materials, indiscipline in students and poor relationships with veteran teachers and parents. This partially results in teacher turnover. The study recommends creation of a positive and supportive working environment in schools in order to enhance novice teachers’ breakthrough into the teaching profession and enhance their professional growth. The study further recommends the need for partnership among school stakeholders, particularly the head teacher and teachers in providing induction and mentoring services to novice teachers in light of their social and professional needs.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library