Alternative education: a panacea to effects of lack of high school education for girls in kapiri mposhi district
Moonga, Anolt L.H.
Changala, Changala Moses
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The study was conducted to determine the effects of lack of a government high school for girls in Kapiri Mposhi district. The district has many basic schools but only two mission secondary schools with very limited enrolments, namely; St. Pauls to the east and Mpunde to the west. Despite its central position in the economy of the country, Kapiri Mposhi district Central Business District (CBD) has had no government high school where most girls could go. The study, therefore, sought to establish the effects of the lack of a government high school in the district on the education of girls. The study was a survey where data was collected using a questionnaire, interviews and observations. Quantitative data was analysed using frequency distribution tables and percentages while qualitative data was coded and grouped into emerging themes. The major findings of the study were that there were more girls (53%) than boys enrolled in grade nine and since there was no government high school in Kapiri Mposhi district, pupils who qualified to grade ten had to go to Kabwe urban schools as day scholars or to boarding schools outside the district. This greatly affected girls’ access to and continuation of education. Many girls, unlike their boys counterparts, could not take up places in Kabwe urban for fear of being abused. Access to boarding schools outside the district was highly competitive for pupils, especially girls whose cut-off point was usually lower than that of boys. Most girls failed to proceed beyond junior secondary level due to non availability of high school places in the district. There were no alternative education facilities for girls in Kapiri Mposhi district, save for evening (GCE) classes at Lukomba basic school. As a result, girls could not continue with their education and efforts to encourage them were futile amidst the existing challenges. The consequences were high levels of vulnerability such as early marriages, substance abuse, exposure to the HIV/AIDS scourge and limited participation in development activities by girls and women. The study concluded that girl children were disadvantaged by the absence of government high schools to enable them realise their educational pursuits in Kapiri Mposhi district. This exposed the girls to various forms of abuse and denying them the right to educational advancement opportunities, which is at variance with the national goals of education and development. The study, therefore, recommended that the government should build high schools in the central business district of Kapiri Mposhi to enable most girls continue with their education. Further, it was recommended that the government should set up alternative education centres, such as GCE classes, skills training centres and women clubs to empower girls with appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for national development.