An evaluation of the implementation of the National gender policy on the upward mobility of female teachers in Secondary Schools in Zambia: A case of selected Secondary Schools in Choma District
Siabona, Gamittos S.
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Several studies that relate to gender had been concluded in the education sector in Zambia but these had usually concentrated on how to increase access and equity between girls and boys at various levels. These studies had evoked a range of explanations on how to reduce the gaps between boys and girls and several policies such as the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the Re-entry Policy had been drafted to that effect. However, the subject of management positions in Secondary Schools had received very little attention from several researchers. This study sought to find out if the National Gender Policy was being implemented when promoting teachers to management positions in Secondary Schools in Choma District. Efforts were usually made to implement policy documents that aimed to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in schools but certain subtle elements permeated efforts to increase the number of females in management positions by implementing the National Gender Policy. Some of the factors that made the implementation of the National Gender Policy difficult and made females underrepresented in management positions in Choma District Secondary Schools were: the methods used to promote teachers, lack of support from administrators, patriarchy, few female students in colleges of education, stereotypes, lack of distribution of the gender policy, gender blind policies, lack of application for management positions by females themselves. On the contrary, lack of self-esteem and family attachment were found to be insignificant factors.The research design was a case study and both the qualitative and quantitative approaches to research were used because these usually complement each other.This study was conducted at six different Secondary Schools in Choma District which had 16 Secondary Schools. Triangulation was used to collect the data. Purposive sampling was used to select the schools and administrators that provided information and simple random sampling was used to select the respondents to the study. The instruments used to collect data were interviews, desk reviews (document analysis) and questionnaires. The study concluded that though women were competent and capable of running Secondary Schools, they were still a minority in management positions in Choma District Secondary Schools and that the gender policy was not being implemented. This was despite the DEBS and the DESO being female in the District. A number of recommendations were made. Some of them are that the headship and management positions should be shared equally between female and male teachers. It was also recommended that gender blind policies such as the 2004 High School Policy Issues and current Practices in Zambia repealed and redrafted. In addition, qualified Focal Point Persons should be appointed to be mainstreaming gender at various levels in the Ministry of Education. It was further recommended that the gender policy be distributed and domesticated in national laws. These are some of the many other recommendations made in the concluding chapter of this study.