The impact of restructuring in the Ministry of Education on district staffing and responsibilities in four selected districts on the copperbelt
Kapambwe, Xavier C
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The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of restructuring in the Ministry of Education on district staffing and roles and responsibilities. The study population was all the District Board Secretaries (DEBS) ; District Education Standards Officers (DESOs);Education Standards Officers (ESOs); Planning Officers (POs) ; Accounts Assistants (AAs); Human Resource Officers (HROs); District Board Members (DBMs); District Support Staff (DSS); and Headteachers, in all the ten districts on the Copperbelt.The sample size was 96 respondents. 57 were males while 39 were females. All these were selected from Chililabombwe, Chingola,Kalulushi and Lufwanyama using the purposive sampling method.Information was collected using questionnaires, Focused Group discussions, and interviews. Three different types of the questionnaires were used for administrative staff, standards officers and Board members. These questionnaires had 13,15 and 12 open ended questions respectively.focused Group discussions had 12 guiding questions while the interview guide for support staff had 10 questions.Data was analyzed by describing and explaining the respondents'responses using simple tables, graphs and percentages. The study revealed that there was an upsurge in the roles and responsibilities at district level resulting in bloated staffing and that more staff were required in the areas of accounting, human resources and standards offices. It also revealed that bureaucracy with its long and winding channels existed and that there was misunderstanding between the office of the DEBS and that of DESO which was caused by unifying the initially parallel structures of the two offices and giving overall power to that of the DEBS.The results further indicated that some functions were easy to decentralize than others. The results showed that while the district staff participated in planning and budgeting and carried out monitoring and evaluation programmes, decision making, resource allocation and distribution as well as the recruitment and promotion of staff were not decentralized. The results also suggested that although government's intentions to decentralize some functions in the education system were noble and genuine, bureaucracy and political interference hindered the ability of the district staff to work.Basing on the findings of this study, the following are some of the recommendations made to the Government of the Republic of Zambia: • The Government through the Ministry of Finance should adhere to the district plans and budgets for successful implementation of programmes. • The Ministry of Education should not retain functions such as recruitment and promotion of staff, and decision making. Government should instead ensure wider representation on decision making at district level. • Channels of communication and chains of command should be short to allow quicker and effective delivery system. • The office of the DESO should be independent from that of the DEBS to enhance professionalism in the education system. • District Education Board Secretaries should mend the existing gap by involving Governance Bodies in the management of education delivery at district level. • Boards should be legalized by an act of parliament to authenticate their operations.
- Education