Teacher resilience in Zimbabwe: case study of Tasima Teachers' Training College during 2007 to 2009 economic crisis
The study explores the competences or strategies used by teachers to remain resilient at the peak of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe during the period 2007 to 2009. The study used the Lecturers from Tasima Teachers' Training College to provide insights into the thinking, perceptions, interpretations and values of the Lecturers' working conditions in adverse circumstances. A total of 12 Lecturers were purposively sampled for generating data; 6 individual interviewees and a 6 member focus group discussion. Hence the data generation was guided by the descriptive and interpretive reporting methods which were the centre of this study's methodology and research process. The specific research questions guided the thematic presentation of the main findings. Consequently, the main findings are divided into two parts; (i) how Lecturers described their experiences during the economic crisis and (ii) Lecturers' descriptions of characteristics of resilience that emerged as themes that contributed to their resilience building process. The main findings of the research therefore, show that challenges that participants of the study faced, negatively affected their work and the ethics around which the work was conducted. The participants devised varied survival strategies to maintain their positions at their work stations though some of the strategies were morally wrong thus Tasima Teachers' Training College was cheated of the engagement time that was supposed to be offered to the students. However, the unorthodox survival strategies merely emerged as ways of facilitating family and individual survival during the peak of the economic crisis. The study also noted that past experiences help in preparing teachers to deal with recurrences of similar adverse situations. But since the study was limited to Tasima College only, it would be difficult to generalise the Lecturers' resilience factors at national level. The participants made some recommendations which were directed to the leaders of institutions and the two ministries; Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. The recommendations centred around factors that satisfy the needs of educators that are grounded on Maslow (1998)'s hierarchy of needs.