Examining street level bureaucrats views on the application of the law of absenteeism and child marriages in Zambia’s education sector.
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This paper examined the perspectives of street-level bureaucrats on the prospects of prosecuting people who breached the laws on absenteeism and early marriages in Lusaka and Central Provinces of Zambia. Using the narrative design, qualitative data were collected using the semi-structured interview guides. The target population consisted of twelve secondary school head teachers in the two provinces. These were also purposively sampled to create varied responses from both rural and urban schools. Data were analysed through coding and cross-analysis. Within the context of the deterrence and attribution theories, the study findings showed that street level bureaucrats were indifferent to the law, while some felt that retention of girls in school could be improved by the law on absenteeism and early marriages, the local environment was unprepared for such drastic measures. There were concerns about long prison sentences which may not deter the offences of absenteeism and early marriages. The study recommended among other things, promoting efficiency in the administration of justice on matters relating to early marriages and absenteeism as well as improving infrastructure and peoples livelihoods. The findings of the study, therefore, could have implications on how the law of absenteeism and early marriages could be implemented in Zambia. Keywords:Street-level bureaucrats, competency profile, early marriage, absenteeism
International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE)