Challenges faced by the Refugee pupil in intial literacy acquisition at Maheba D Basic School, North Western Province, Zambia
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This study was set out to establish the challenges faced by refugee pupils in initial literacy acquisition at Meheba D Basic School.The research design was a case study and for that reason qualitative method was used to collect data. The data were collected through interviews, lesson observations and out of classroom observations. The target population was all the Grade One refugee pupils at Meheba D Basic School. The total number was one hundred and twenty four (124) pupils. The class teacher, school head teacher and District Educational Board Secretary (DEBS) also were sampled in the study. The total of one hundred and twenty seven (127) respondents participated in the study. The study revealed six main challenges faced by refugee pupils in initial literacy acquisition. These were: the use of an unfamiliar language (Kikaonde) to teach/learn initial literacy, long distance between refugee pupils’ homes and the school; overcrowded classrooms; shortage of NBTL learning/teaching materials; frequent movements of refugees, and poverty among refugees.The study further revealed that Kikaonde was not the refugee pupils’ language of play both at home and school.In view of the findings, the following recommendations were made. The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education should revisit the language being used for teaching at Meheba D Basic School. The mother tongue of the refugee pupils should be used to teach and learn initial literacy. Since Meheba D Basic School is a public school, the government of Zambia through the Ministry in charge of Education in collaboration with UNHCR should train and employ refugee teachers to teach NBTL lessons so that refugee pupils are taught in their mother tongues. UNHCR in collaboration with the government of Zambia should build at least a basic school in all the zones of Maheba settlement in order to avoid the long distance covered by refugee pupils to Meheba D Basic School. There is a need to have smaller classes at Meheba D Basic School. The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education should split the grade one class into three classes. Finally, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education should provide adequate NBTL materials in order to facilitate the acquisition of initial literacy at Meheba D Basic Schools. UNHCR should come in to help.
- Education