Parental involvement in children's education in selected urban primary schools in Chipata district,Zambia
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The purpose of the study was to establish parents’ involvement in children’s education in urban primary Schools in Chipata District. With reference to children’s education, the study examined ways in which parents get involved, explored the benefits of parental involvement, it also explored the barriers to parental involvement and it established ways of enhancing parental involvement in urban primary schools. Using a descriptive research design, the study utilised a sample of 21 participants from 3 selected urban primary schools in Chipata district which included 3 grade seven class teachers, one from each school, 9 grade seven pupils and 9 parents of the sampled pupils. Teachers and parents were sampled purposively while purposeful random sampling technique was used for pupils. A semi structured interview guide was used to collect data and thematic analysis employed in analysing data. The major findings of the study are that in urban primary schools, parents got involved mainly through the provision of school requisites such as uniforms, pens, pencils and books. They also exposed children to the use of modern technological gadgets such as ipads, Zedupads, laptops and Smart Phones in the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Furthermore, they sponsored educational tours, pupil workshops and school fees. Parents helped children with homework and also attended PTA meetings. On the benefits, the study found that parental involvement motivated the pupils. It was also perceived to have improved academic performance and reduced pupil absenteeism as well as giving teachers an insight of the child’s home environment. On the barriers, busy work schedule was the most prominent, low esteem and lack of awareness of their full responsibility as parents. On ways of enhancing parental involvement, the main approach revealed was sensitisation of parents through print and electronic media as well as school initiated workshops, motivating attendance and participation in PTA meetings, advising parents to spare time despite the tight work schedules. The study concluded that parents in urban primary schools were generally involved in children’s education, however, it was mainly home based because most them were busy with work schedules and could not effectively participate in school activities. The study recommended effective communication between parents and school staff, initiating sensitisation programmes by school authorities and the Ministry of General Education, office of the Permanent Secretary, through various media such as Radio, Television and workshops to inform parents about the importance of their involvement in children’s education.
The University of Zambia