An analysis of management practices of the headteachers in seven selected flood prone primary schools in Mwandi district, Zambia.
Matakala, Mubita Honest
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The study examined an analysis of the management practices of the headteachers in seven selected flood prone Primary schools in Mwandi district. The aim of this study was to assess strategies head teachers used to enhance learning in seven selected flood prone primary schools in Mwandi district. These strategies used included community mobilization in constructing wooden bridges. The other strategy as an objective used by headteachers to enhance learning was to listen to a flood warning signal which was installed by government through the disaster management and mitigation unit at Kasaya Bridge. Flood mitigation measures employed by the headteachers included offering shelter to weekly or monthly borders especially those who came from far flung areas. The use of oxcarts when ferrying learners to and from school was also used as a flood mitigation measure. Using alternative routes by learners when going to school in the light of seasonal floods was another flood mitigation measure used as well as listening to water birds as signal for onset of floods.Headteachers disseminated information about water birds appearance in the skies –an indication of the onset of seasonal floods. Flood coping measures involved adjusting the school calendar so that the affected learners could learn during school holidays. Home based teaching of the affected learners of seasonal floods was highly encouraged by headteachers. Revival of linkages between the head -teachers and functional local disaster management units were encouraged as well. Learners were taught safe swimming methods in order to survive the onslaught of seasonal floods as enshrined in the revised physical education and sports curriculum. The methodology used was a descriptive one that was carried out. The research instruments used in the study were semi- structured interview guides and observations. The information of the study was sourced from (7) headteachers in the affected schools, (7) village headmen, (3) members of the Red Cross, (1) Council Secretary, (1) Area Councillor,(1) Council chairperson and(7) members of the Parent Teacher Committee respectively. It was concluded that seasonal floods did not only make learning difficult for learners but it also affected the local communities in which these schools are situated as infrastructure was destroyed, families got displaced subjecting them to contracting diseases among others. It was also noted that seasonal floods brought advantages to the locals as flood water was harvested and used during dry season. It is further recommended that this research could be implored further by conducting other research studies especially in schools within the district that seasonally experience floods which were not reached. This is so because the research findings may not be wholly representative of what goes on in other flood prone primary schools in the same district.
The University of Zambia