An assessment of the compliance level of rural primary schools to the free basic education policy guidelines: a case of five rural primary schools in Monze district, Zambia
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This study assessed the compliance level of rural Primary schools with the Free Basic Education (FBE) Policy guidelines in Monze District of the Southern Province of Zambia. Objectives were: to find out to what extent Primary schools in rural areas were aware of the Free Basic Education Policy guidelines in the Ministry of Education circular of 2002; to ascertain to what extent Primary schools in rural areas were complying with the Free Basic Education Policy guidelines in the Ministry of Education circular of 2002; to find out the reasons for non-compliance of rural Primary schools to the Free Basic Education Policy guidelines; and to determine the consequences of non-compliance to the Free Basic Education Policy guidelines on rural primary schools. The study used a mixed method research design with a sample of 130 respondents sampled using Simple Random sampling technique and Purposive sampling technique. Questionnaires and interviews were used in collecting data for the study. Analysis involved use of descriptive statistics in form of percentages and frequencies using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), and by categorizing in themes and analyzing according to emerging themes in line with the objectives of the study. Findings were that rural primary schools were aware of three out of the five FBE policy guidelines; rural primary schools complied with four of the five FBE policy guidelines, which was the guideline concerning fees; the reason for incomplete compliance was that schools had challenges such as inadequate and delayed funds from the government and the challenge of school infrastructure. Consequences of non-compliance with FBE policy guidelines were demotivation, absenteeism, dropouts and poor examination results. Following the findings, the study concluded that incomplete awareness was attributed to unavailability of the actual MoE circular stipulating FBE policy guidelines in rural Primary schools. Despite that, the level of compliance was high. Further, poor funding led to requirement of fees. The study recommends that government funding to rural Primary schools should be increased and must be regular, and infrastructural development in those schools must be looked into. Key words: Basic education, free education, policy, compliance, guidelines, user fees, enrolment, rural schools, challenges.
The University of Zambia
- Education