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Factors affecting the implementation and management of continuing professional teacher development in the Zululand district, South Africa
(University of Zululand, 2020)
The study investigated factors affecting the implementation of Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) programmes in the Zululand District. CPTD programmes are the universally accepted strategies used to improve the performance of teachers. Whereas the performance of teachers defines the performance of learners; at the same time, the performance of learners is used as an indication of the quality of the country’s education system. Therefore, the quality of CPTD programmes received by teachers determines the quality of an education system. It was established from literature that the reason why most CPTD programmes fail was that they were usually implemented using traditional methods. These methods included workshops, seminars, talks, and conferences which are brief and sporadic events in which teachers tend to be passive recipients of information, having no opportunities to collaborate with others. The researcher used qualitative approach in the study because he wanted to get the feelings and experiences of the participants in the implementation of CPTD programmes. The researcher used one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis as research instruments. The study was conducted in all the five circuits of the Zululand District. The sample consisted of a district official, 2 principals, 12 School Management Team (SMT) members and 12 post level 1 teachers. The total number of participants was 27. An equal number of participants was drawn from primary and secondary schools. The key findings of the study were that district officials mostly used a traditional approach to implement CPTD programmes. Traditional programmes were characterised by once-off workshops which were not based on teachers’ needs. These CPTD programmes did not have follow-up programmes set up to check on the effectiveness of CPTD programmes in the development of learner performance. Teachers were never consulted about their needs. All CPTD programmes were not based on adult learning theories. Teachers were not involved in the planning of CPTD programmes. CPTD facilitators did not have appropriate facilitation skills. Teachers were not encouraged to form collaborative structures like Professional Learning Communities. The study recommends that before district officials implement CPTD programme, they must undergo training on facilitation skills. Collaborative methods must be used in the implementation of CPTD programmes. Teachers must be involved in all implementation stages of CPTD programmes.
Service quality in the academic libraries in Kenya
(University of Zululand, 2021)
The subject of service quality has been widely researched in various sectors, and academic libraries are no exception. It has become imperative that university libraries in Africa, Kenya in particular, re-examine their existence in academia, in order to justify the need for their services. This study seeks to establish the level of service quality in Kenyan academic libraries by analysing, evaluating, and assessing the service delivery of the academic libraries. It was guided by the following specific objectives: To evaluate the influence that the service parameters (human resource practices, technology, the library environment and infrastructure, information resources, etc.) have on the service quality in academic libraries; assess the library customer service orientation and its influence on service quality in the academic libraries; assess how the range of services/products offered by academic libraries influence service quality in the academic libraries; and analyse the level of library customer retention/attraction strategies and service delivery approaches and their influence on service quality in the academic libraries. The Gap model adopted for the current study suggests that customer satisfaction is often not achieved as a result of gaps/shortfalls in the service delivery process. Descriptive survey research method was employed, guided by the study’s research objectives. Mixed method approach was used to generate both the qualitative and quantitative data. From the entire list of accredited universities in Kenya, a sample of 10 (ten) institutions was selected. Systematic random sampling, random sampling, purposive methods were employed to identify the actual sample size for the different strata. In total seven hundred and fourteen (714) questionnaires were returned from the external library customers (55% males and 45% females); while for the internal library customers (librarians), 47 out of the 80 questionnaires administered were returned (43% males and 57% females). This gave an overall, 76% response rate. Purposive sampling procedure was used to identify the interview participants (who were the senior management of the academic libraries) using an interview schedule, in total 10 interviews were conducted; while observation was guided by an observation schedule that was obtrusively applied to capture information on the general state of each of the academic libraries, the facilities, and the service delivery processes. SPSS was used for data analysis, descriptive statistics, factor analysis and multiple regression. Findings of the study revealed that academic libraries in Kenya are faced with a myriad of challenges such as a growing and divergent population, limited range of information resources and services, poor infrastructure, inadequate staff working areas and tools, limited budgets, heavy bureaucratic tendencies, lack of top institutional management support, poor leadership by the departmental heads, and lack of clear market orientation strategies. The above concerns notwithstanding, the study showed that the academic libraries are endowed with a rich pool of well-trained information professionals, large market for services, and customers’ goodwill; all of which need to be fully exploited. Also noted was that the academic libraries are poorly equipped to cater for people with disabilities (PWDs). The study recommends the following: a radical shift in the management of the academic libraries; the creation of an enabling environment for optimal service delivery; greater supervision by the Commission for University Education (CUE), and a policy framework that will guide the overall operations of the academic libraries. This study has strong implications for the improvement of library and information services for customer satisfaction in Kenya, and perhaps, elsewhere.
The development of a support framework for informal entrepreneurship in uMhlathuze Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa
(University of Zululand, 2022)
The significance of informal entrepreneurship and the value of informal entrepreneurs have been widely acknowledged considering South Africa’s socio-economic challenges and the country’s economy’s incapacity to generate formal employment opportunities. These challenges emanates from several factors, which includes the legacy of apartheid, poor education system, Covid-19 regulations, and corruption on economic system. South Africa's extreme poverty and high unemployment rates have made it more necessary than ever for unemployed people to engage in informal entrepreneurship to support themselves and provide for their households. The South African government recognises the significance of small businesses in the economy and has set up both financial and non-financial support measures to support them become self-sustaining. However, research seems to indicate that there is still room for improvement, particularly regarding informal enterprises. This study argues that they is little scholarly attention that has been given to support mechanism for rural informal entrepreneurship. This constitutes a research gap, which this study seeks to address. It is against this background that the aim of the study is to develop a support framework for informal entrepreneurship in KwaZulu-Natal focusing on uMhlathuze Local Municipality. To achieve this purpose, a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach was adopted. The study administered 256 questionnaires to informal entrepreneurs at uMhlathuze local municipality and 4 officials from financial development institutions (FDIs) were sampled and interviewed using in-depth format. The findings indicate that most informal enterprises in uMhlathuze local municipality are owned by black females who are motivated by the high unemployment rate to engage in informal entrepreneurship. The study further discovered that lack of government support is the main challenge facing informal entrepreneurs in uMhlathuze local municipality. The study recommends a support framework for informal entrepreneurship in uMhlathuze local municipality whose goal is to help informal enterprises become sustainable and generate employment opportunities.
Genome data mining, annotation, and phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in the fungal class Pezizomycetes
(University of Zululand, 2022)
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s) are heme proteins that play a role in organisms’ primary and secondary metabolism. P450s play an important role in organism adaptation since lifestyle influences P450 composition in their genome. This phenomenon is well-documented in bacteria but less so in fungi. This study observed this phenomenon where diverse P450 complements were identified in saprophytic and ectomycorrhizal Pezizomycetes. Genome-wide data mining, annotation, and phylogenetic analysis of P450s in 19 Pezizomycetes revealed 668 P450s that can be grouped into 153 P450 families and 245 P450 subfamilies. Only four P450 families, namely, CYP51, CYP61, CYP5093, and CYP6001, are conserved across 19 Pezizomycetes, indicating their important role in these species. A total of 5 saprophyte Pezizomycetes have 103 P450 families, whereas 14 ectomycorrhizal Pezizomycetes have 89 P450 families. Only 39 P450 families were common, and 50 and 64 P450 families, respectively, were unique to ectomycorrhizal and saprophytic Pezizomycetes. These findings suggest that the switch from a saprophytic to an ectomycorrhizal lifestyle led to both the development of diverse P450 families as well as the loss of P450s, which led to the lowest P450 family diversity, despite the emergence of novel P450 families in ectomycorrhizal Pezizomycetes.
Cyberethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in Umhlathuze municipality
(University of Zululand, 2022)
Cyber technology has become a basic aspect of schools and universities, with students' habitual use of these tools to communicate, learn, and play. However, schools and universities have faced numerous issues as a result of cyber ethics activities in various settings. This study has examined the cyber ethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. The objectives of this study were to: explore the level of awareness of cyber ethical behaviour prevalent at the selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality; identify the forms of cyber ethics behaviour shown by the selected high school students; demonstrate the application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) on cyber ethical behaviour intentions of high school students and establish the challenges faced by high school students to act ethically when using the Internet and cyber technologies. The study adopted a quantitative approach through survey research design. Probability sampling was used to sample students through the simple random technique. A sample for the study was drawn from Grade 11 students from three conveniently selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. 214 questionnaires were distributed among Grade 11 students. Data was collected through questionnaires. The data analyses were carried out largely using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 28.0. The findings of the study show that 68.2% of the respondents were aware of their cyber ethical behaviour. Less than half (68;31,8%) of the respondents showed less awareness. A high percentage of the respondents (82,7%) said that their teachers hardly teach them about cyber ethics. The respondents submitted that cyberbullying (57%), using another user’s password (16,4%) and dissemination of fake news (8.4%) are the common types of cyber ethical transgressions. The study discovered a substantial number of challenges related to effective cyber ethical behaviour. The findings indicated a need for awareness of cyber ethical technology and how to mitigate its misuse. This study's originality stems from its scope, subject matter, and application. The study is significant because it provides a theoretical basis for future studies in the following areas: high schools in the uMhlathuze municipality, the levels of awareness of teachers and principals pertaining to cyber ethics. The study has implications for cyber ethical technologies and cyber ethical behaviour in high schools’ research and responses by stakeholders.