Students participation in art and design in schools and colleges : A case study of Lusaka city : 2003-2006
Mwale, M. Margaret
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Generally, Zambian government schools and colleges have recorded low female participation in Science and Mathematics since political independence in 1964. The situation is worse in the subject of art and design. In many schools this subject is not offered. Additionally, many people in the Zambian society do not understand the value of the arts. For this reason they do not see the need for their children especially, daughters to study such a subject. The major objective of this study is to identify factors that contribute to the poor participation by female pupils and students in the learning of art and design in schools and colleges. Field research revealed that, among many factors for low female learners' participation in art and design, was negative attitudes of the teachers and the parents towards the female learners' participation in the subject. This factor discouraged female learners from fully participating in the subject in the lower grades. The tendency continued up to higher grades and consequently this affected the overall female participation in colleges and the University of Zambia. Arising from this situation is the factor of lack of teachers and lecturers particularly female teaching staff in art and design in schools, colleges and the University of Zambia to act as role models for the female learners.Additionally, the Ministry of Education has not fully recognized and supported the subject in schools, colleges and the University of Zambia. This situation has led to poor funding for art and design, consequently leading to inadequate learning and teaching materials in art and design in the educational institutions that offer the subject. The study utilized qualitative research methodology through interviews and questionnaires administered to respondents in the participating educational institutions. Quantitative methodology was used to generate necessary graphic presentations. The study was carried out in three government schools and two colleges in Lusaka province. The sample consisted pupils, students and teachers in the educational institutions visited. The sample comprised 150 respondents of which 90 came from the School category and 60 from the College category that included the University of Zambia. From each unit 15 respondents were females and 15 were males. The total number of females in the sample size was 75 and that for the males was also 75. Only those respondents whose answers were very significant to this study are listed in the Select Bibliography. These are also the ones that actively participated in the Focus Group Discussions in the respective educational institutions. Based on the findings of the study, a number of practical recommendations have been made to improve female participation in art and design in the Zambian educational institutions. Finally, being the first dissertation on art and design by a Zambian female teacher in a High School, this work acts as a foundation or a springboard from which many future researches will be based.