Challenges facing female head teachers in management of public primary schools. a case of selected primary schools in Lusaka district of Zambia
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School management in Zambian schools is the function of the Head Teacher. The purpose of the study was to investigate and describe the challenges female head teachers face in managing the public primary schools in Lusaka district. The study was guided by four main objectives which included; to establish the social and cultural challenges faced by female head teachers in Lusaka district, to examine organisation challenges female head teachers face, to analyse the influence of psychological factors on female head teachers on management of primary schools and to describe the measures put in place in order to cope with or overcome the challenges they face. The study used a qualitative approach to be specific phenomenology research design. The design was suitable and helped the researcher to investigate the challenges faced by female head teachers in public primary schools of Lusaka District. The researcher used homogeneous sampling, a purposive sampling technique which aims to achieve a homogeneous sample to select 10 schools headed by female head teacher and one senior teacher from 10 Zones of Lusaka district. The study used one instrument in data collection that is Individual interviews schedule with the female head teachers and senior teachers respectively. In this study, an analysis and interpretation of the findings was taken during and after data collection. The findings revealed that head teachers experienced challenges that include: social and culture challenges such as negative attitude and lack of respect from members of community towards female head teacher, organisation challenges that is negative perception from some teachers which were related to gender discrimination, Psychological challenges due to their biological trait and role conflict between their profession and domestic work. In order to foster a positive attitude towards female leadership, team work through employing transformational, participatory and people oriented leadership style, employing maid to assist in home chores were some of the measures put in place in order to cope with the challenges faced by female head teachers. From the findings it was concluded that despite the challenges female head teachers faced in management of primary schools, Female head teachers are effective in regard to time management, accountability, more focused and organised in the way they run these schools. And as such it was recommended that more women should be appointed in management of schools especially that there are the majority in the teaching fraternity.
The University of Zambia