Factors that motivate parents to enroll their children in Community schools in selected schools of Lusaka District
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The current study sought to understand factors that influenced parents to enroll their children in Community Schools (CS). Literature indicates that CS encounters more challenges than government schools, but government schools were seen to be more expensive than CS. To this effect, government abolished fees in all government (GRZ) schools from grade one to seven to enable even vulnerable children access quality education. However, after the introduction of free basic education policy in 2002, more learners moved from GRZ to community schools. The reasons for such movements did not seem to be well established. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to find out the factors that influenced parents to enroll their children in CS. Data was collected from 210 participants composed of 100 parents, 80 learners, 20 teachers, and 10 head teachers drawn from 10 CS of Lusaka district. Questionnaires and semi structured interview guides were the research instruments used in this study. The findings from parents, learners, teachers and head teachers indicate that factors that motivated parents to enroll children in community schools were in two broad categories of “push” and “pull” factors. Under push factors themes such as absenteeism of teachers in GRZ schools, high cost of education in GRZ schools, shortage of school places in GRZ schools and long distance to nearest GRZ schools emerged. On the other hand, commitment and positive work attitudes of teachers in CS, high pass rates in CS, school feeding programme, warm teacher-learner relationships, affordable and flexible terms of payments in CS, and prospects of child sponsorship, constituted pull factors. It thus seemed appropriate to conclude that push and pull factors played an important role in influencing parents to enroll their children in CS.
- Education