A comparative study of status of teachers in selected urban and rural seconday schools in Southern Province, Zambia
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The purpose of this study was to compare the status of teachers in selected urban and rural secondary schools in Southern Province of Zambia and to establish factors that affected the status of these teachers. The target population was all head teachers, teachers and grades ten to twelve pupils in all secondary schools in Southern Province of Zambia as well as all parents living in communities around the selected secondary schools. The sample for the study was 1,135 participants. Out of this number, 800 were pupils, 204 teachers, 8 head teachers and 123 parents living in communities around the 8 selected (4 urban and 4 rural) secondary schools. Quantitative data was collected from pupils, teachers and head teachers using semi-structured questionnaires while qualitative data were collected from parents using Focus Group Discussion Guidelines (FGD). Quantitative data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate tables of frequency and percentages and qualitative data were analysed by use of themes and categories sorted according to the objectives and research question of the study in order to obtain opinions from participants on the subject under investigation. The findings were that: 1. The difference in the status of teachers in the selected urban and rural secondary schools in Southern Province of Zambia was minimal. The lack of difference in social status may be attributed to the fact that the role of teachers in society was the same regardless of the location of the school they were teaching and the factors considered by the public and pupils when according status to teachers were similar. 2. The lack of difference in the status of these teachers showed that the services teachers offered to society were generally valued and appreciated by society regardless of whether they were in urban or rural area. 3. Though teachers from rural and urban settings had poor working conditions compared to other professions, they were accorded higher status by pupils and the public because their profession was considered to be contributing to national development. 4. The factors that affected the status of teachers were: level of education one had attained; subject one was teaching; grade level one was teaching; position held in the school; one‟s salary; quality of teaching / masterly of the subject matter, conduct of the teacher and relationship with the community members. These factors applied to teachers in rural and urban setting. Based on the findings, the study recommended that: Teachers should be given opportunities for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This may act as an incentive and motivating factor to joining teaching as well as to remain in the profession; housing allowance for teachers should be comparable to economic rate of rentals in good residential areas to enable those that do not own houses rent descent accommodation; conditions of service for teachers should be improved to attract more young people to join the profession; hard working teachers should be commended publicly to motivate them.
- Education