The effectiveness of early childhood education centres in the delivery of education in selected government primary schools in Itezhi Tezhi district of Zambia.
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The Government of the Republic of Zambia introduced Early Childhood Education centres in the mainstream government primary schools. As a result, some government primary schools are offering Early Childhood Education for children aged between 3 and 6 years. This research endeavored to investigate the effectiveness of Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres in four selected government primary schools in Itezhi Tezhi District. The study focused on early childhood education delivery to children in Itezhi Tezhi District. The study used a mixed research design which used quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The study involved head teachers and teachers from the four government primary schools that were implementing Early Childhood Education in Itezhi Tezhi District. The sample size was forty (40), comprising four head teachers, four deputy head teachers, four senior teachers, four ECE teachers and twenty four (24) primary school teachers. Purposive sampling was used to select the four (4) head teachers, four deputy head teachers, four senior teachers and four (4) Early Childhood Teachers and random sampling was used to select twenty-four (24) primary school teachers. Qualitative data was analyzed using the content analysis involving identification of major themes and quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) presented in pie and bar charts. The research findings revealed that the ECE centres were facing challenges to deliver Early Childhood Education to the learners. This was mainly due to lack of teaching and learning materials, high pupil-teacher ratio which was 1: 83 and the government grants were too meagre. In addition, Continuous Professional Development was not taking place in Early Childhood Education centres. This study recommended that there should be regular and adequate funding to ECE centres; the government should deploy enough trained and qualified teachers; more community sensitization on the importance of Early Childhood Education by the school administration and Early Childhood Education should be made compulsory by the government in the country because of its importance and role in retaining learners in school.
The University of Zambia
SubjectEarly childhood education--Cross-cultural studies.
Early childhood education--Government policy--Zambia.