A study on learner absenteeism in public examininations in Western Province of Zambia : A case of Senanga District
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The purpose of this study was to examine learner absenteeism in public school examinations. The four objectives were; to establish the relationship between learner absenteeism from class during learning time and learner absenteeism during public examinations; to examine the relationship between learner absenteeism from public examinations and socio-economic backgrounds; to ascertain whether learners where teachers' absenteeism in class is high are more likely to be absent during public examinations; and to explore the ways of improving learner absenteeism in public examinations. The study was carried out by using quantitative study that was mainly through a questionnaire. It also used desk research and literature search in nature. The primary respondents were the former learners who absented themselves from any of the public examinations, the learners who are in examination classes, community members and education standards officers. The research was a case study of Senanga District of Western Province of Zambia and involved the collection of primary and secondary data in order to arrive at an informed decision. A sample of 100 respondents was selected using purposive sampling from the communities. The sample for the study was drawn from schools, communities and district education offices within Senanga district. The study found that learner absenteeism from examinations was prevalent in the district and quite high especially at Grade 9 level. The average absenteeism rates over the 5 year period, from 2011 to 2015 were 14.3 percent during Grade 7 examinations, 16.7 percent during the Grade 9 examinations and 5.3 percent during the Grade 12 examinations. The research revealed that learner absenteeism in public examinations was caused by a number of factors which included; personal factors, socio-economic factors and institutional factors. However, the personal factors and socio-economic factors were most prevalent. The study recommends that Government implements effective and functional learner orientation and learner support programmes, and ensures that all the stakeholders in education sector are involved in addressing learner absenteeism in public examinations.
University of Zambia
Master of Education in Educational Management