Teacher Transfers from Primary Schools in Chama District of Zambia: Causes of the Massive Teacher Exodus and its Effects on Learner’s Academic Performance
Mulenga, Innocent Mutale
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Scholarly research has shown that the availability of enough qualified teachers in schools is key to effective curriculum implementation. In Zambia however, rural schools experience more teacher transfers to urban schools. The purpose of this study was to find out the main causes of teacher transfers from Chama district of Muchinga province. Researchers in this study also sort to analyze the effects that teacher transfers had on the learning process. A descriptive research design was used to explore this phenomenon. 150 teachers were sampled from 25 rural schools and each of these school’s head teachers were also part of the sampled participants. Focus group discussions and interviews were conducted to collect data from teachers and head teachers. Human resource documents and examination performance records from the district education office in Chama were also analyzed. The findings of the study showed that teachers requested for transfers due to a number of factors such as separation from their spouses, conflict with school administrators, poor deployment procedures and social amenities, remoteness of the schools, fear of witchcraft and qualification upgrading. It was further noted that all these factors negatively affected learners’ performance since schools were understaffed, and teachers demotivated and at times left schools for a number of days so as to access social services in town at the expense of teaching and learning. While each of these causes needed immediate attention it was however concluded that the problem of understaffing in schools in rural Chama due to transfers is a big one which required national policy makers to invest in improving the living conditions of teachers in rural schools by providing social services such as hospitals, roads, banks, electricity and modern school structures and staff houses. It was envisaged that if this is done at a national level most of the causes of teachers leaving rural schools would be gradually reduced.
Multidisciplinary Journal of Language and Social Sciences Education