Perceptions of parents and support towards physical education and sport learners in selected primary schools in Chingola district of Zambia
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Parents’ high perceptions of the worth of Physical Education and Sport (PES) coupled with support, are essential correlates of PES behaviours in children. The study aimed at exploring perceptions and support of parents towards PES learners in four (4) selected primary schools in Chingola District, Zambia. The objectives were to; describe the perceptions of parents towards PES learners; establish parents’ support towards PES learners; and to establish parents’ perceived challenges that negatively affect their support towards PES learners. Descriptive Design under qualitative approach was used in this study. The sample constituted 28 parents whose children where learning PES in selected primary schools. The age range of children was 7-14 years. The study utilized the purposive sampling technique. Data was collected through Focus Group Discussions (FGD). Qualitative data was analysed thematically. This involved qualitative coding and categorizing of data to generate themes which were presented descriptively. The findings of the study revealed that parents had both positive and negative perceptions towards PES. Positive perceptions: PES was viewed as a provider of job opportunities, healthy benefit, and a booster of community businesses during sports competitions. Negative perceptions: PES was associated with poor academic performance, bodily harm, property damage, peer pressure, and conflicting with religious and cultural beliefs. On parental support, the study indicated verbal encouragement, role modelling and purchasing of exercise books, ball pens as well as PE attire. Challenges affecting parental support were financial setbacks, busy work routines, lack of PES knowledge and lack of awareness on PES teaching and learning materials. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made: That PES specialists should be handling children learning the subject; parents and school administrators should think outside the box by venturing into income generating activities in order to support PES learners effectively; adequate communication between parents and the school; schools through Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings should organise awareness workshops for parents on the benefits of PES; parents and teachers should harmonise on the decent sports attire to be worn by girls in order to encourage participation; school based preventive strategies should involve peer education, anti-drug club meetings and skills that promote behaviour change. Key words: Parent, Physical Education, Sport, Perception, Support, Physical Activity.
The University of Zambia
- Education