Dynamics of extension studies at the University of Zambia from 1966 to 2014: its history, contribution to human resources development and prospects
Mwansa, Philip Kotati
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The topic of the study is “Dynamics of Extension Studies at The University of Zambia from 1966 to 2014: Its History, Contribution to Human Resources Development and Prospects”. The statement of the problem is that although Extension Studies has been in existence at the University of Zambia (UNZA) from 1966, its contribution to human resource development is undocumented. The objectives of the study were to (i) trace the history of Extension Studies at the University of Zambia from 1966 to 2014, (ii) establish the contribution of Extension Studies to human resources development from 1966 to 2014, (iii) examine status of Extension Studies, and (iv) determine prospects of Extension Studies. The significance of the study is that it demonstrates that Extension Studies is a viable mode of delivering knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, and a way of broadening access to higher in Zambia. The theoretical framework of the study was the technical-functional theory. The scope of the study covered the history of Extension Studies at UNZA from 1966 to 2014 targeting former and current students, part-time tutors, Resident Lecturers and Senior Managers of the University. The target population was 6,200, which comprised students, Part-Time Tutors, Resident Lecturers and senior managers at UNZA. Probability and non-probability sampling were used to target participants. The sample of the study was 486 interviewees and respondents. It consisted of 2 senior managers, 10 Resident Lecturers, 43 Part-Time Tutors, 155 former students and 276 current students. It employed an embedded research design. Qualitative data were collected through document review, self-administered open-ended questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Quantitative data were collected through self-administered questionnaires and document review. Document review was used to collect data on history of Extension Studies at UNZA from 1966 to 2014. Qualitative data was collected through questionnaires and interview guides, and analysed through thematic approach by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0. Frequency tables were used to present data. The study revealed that Extension Studies at the University of Zambia gradually lost the privileged position that it enjoyed at the inception of the UNZA 1966. However, Extension Studies had achieved academic recognition because its programmes were approved by Senate in 2009. It also contributed 61,251 people to human resources development in Zambia from1966 to 2014. Other findings were that participants were satisfied with the quality of education, student-respondents had positive attitude towards Extension Studies, and urged that it should be escalated to degree level to enable people acquire degree qualifications within their communities. The study recommended to (i) highlight the history Extension Studies at UNZA by management, (ii) UNZA should respond to the needs of the Zambian society, (iii) UNZA should come up with a policy on Extension Studies about its relationship with other academic programmes at the University of Zambia; and (iv) UNZA should equip Extension Studies with library facilities, computer laboratories and science laboratories iv establish an Institute of Extension Education. Key words: contribution, development, dynamics extension education, extension studies, history, prospect and status.
The University of Zambia