The impact of advocacy and sensitization on girls education in Lusaka 2002-2005: A case study of four schools in Lusaka District
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Before 1990 girls education was not given enough attention in terms of access to school.However, in line with the international and national policy declarations, Zambia,through the Ministry of Education, has put in place a number of strategies to increase the girls' access to education. One such strategy is advocacy and sensitization. The study sought to find out whether advocacy and sensitization were done and in what form at the schools and among parents. The overall objective of the study was to find out the impact of this strategy on girls enrolment between the years 2002 and 2005, and on the attitudes of parents/guardians, pupils, teachers and education managers on the girls education. The study was undertaken between January and February 2006. Two methods of collecting data were used namely Self Administered Structured Questionnaire and Focus Group Discussions. The study was conducted in four schools with different economic status. The study sites were Jacaranda, Olympia Park, Lilanda and Muchinga Basic Schools. The total population sample was 126, which included education managers, teachers, parents/guardians and pupils themselves. The selection of pupils, teachers, parents /guardians was done randomly with the help of the school managers. Self administered questionnaires with both open and closed ended questions were used and on the other hand, four focus group discussions with parents/guardians (one focus group discussion from each school under study) were used. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics especially the frequency tables. The software package used to analyze data was the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).Qualitative data was analyzed by content analysis method. The findings of the study revealed that Advocacy and Sensitization (A&S) had been done in all the schools surveyed and to all educational and school mangers and some teachers, some parent/guardians and some pupils. The form in which A&S was done ranged from meetings to seminars. Pupils were mostly sensitized at school at Assembly and also during classes besides discussion programmes on the electronic media. Meetings, workshops and seminars were the most common media by which parents/guardians, school managers and education mangers were sensitized. Teachers were sensitized through workshops, staff meetings, poetry, drama, seminars, songs and public meetings. Although parents agreed that girls' education was important more household chores were still done by girls. The study findings have also shown that some parents still felt that traditional norms regarding the importance of the boy in society must be upheld at the expense of the girl.From the study undertaken, the attitude towards girls' education of all the categories of the respondents was good in favor of the girls' education although some parents still attached more importance to the boys' education.The strategy to increase the girls access to education through Advocacy and Sensitization as embarked on by the Ministry of Education has had a little impact as noted on the enrolment of girls in schools in this survey.