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    Dynamics of life satisfaction among elderly people in the municipality of Solwezi, Zambia: prospects and challenges.
    (The University of Zambia, 2020) Sitali, Mubiana Kaiko
    This study sought to examine dynamics of life satisfaction among elderly people and to explore prospects and challenges to its attainment. The main purpose was to create an enabling environment for attainment of life satisfaction. Creating an enabling environment for attainment of life satisfaction among the elderly should be of great interest, given that Zambia’s population, like the global population, is ageing at a faster rate than before. Population ageing has implications for nearly all sectors of society, including labour and financial markets, demand for goods and services, such as housing, health, and social protection. Attainment of life satisfaction is crucial in the process of ageing as it is linked to physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. At the time of the study, little was known on the status of life satisfaction among the elderly and challenges, and or prospects of its attainment. Consequently, study objectives were to: examine the dynamics of life satisfaction among the elderly; explore contextual prospects to attainment of life satisfaction among the elderly; critically examine contextual challenges to attainment of life satisfaction among the elderly; aassess the adequacy of the National Ageing Policy (NAP) in enhancing prospects to attainment of life satisfaction among the elderly. The guiding theories were the Activity Theory of Ageing and Erikson’s Theory of Human Development. The study utilised an integrated mixed research design with several data collection instruments, namely; Document Review Guide, Interview Guide, Observation Checklist, and a Satisfied With Life Scale (SWLS) with Biographical Data Questionnaire. A total of 101 SWLSs were administered on 101 total sample of elderly respondents with 100 per cent response rate. Interviews were held with 3 key informants from National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), the District Social Welfare Officer and the District Medical Officer. The Document Review Guide was utilised on the NAP. The Observation Checklist was employed to observe the respondents’ immediate surroundings. Primary data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), while qualitative data was analysed using thematic and data condensation methods. The-study’s findings were that 58.4 per cent did not attain life satisfaction, while 36.6 per cent attained it. Prospects of attainment of life satisfaction were related to: achievement of minimum basic needs (90%); assured welfare (27%); morality of the children (25%); self-esteem (5%); and longevity (2%). Challenges to attainment of life satisfaction were related to: inability to meet basic needs (85%), poor health (75%); dependency (70%); loss of family members (60%); not having met one’s life goals (20%); lack of social security (80%); and physiological consequence of ageing (20%). None of the respondents mentioned activities of leisure in nature as prospects to their attainment of life satisfaction. Assessment of the NAP identified omissions such as lack of clarity on heterogeneity among elderly people, passive involvement of the elderly people in the national policy formulation and implementation, non-emphasis on age-related challenges, silence on the role and expected support for families caring for elderly people and non-inclusion of geriatric services. Recommendations to government and relevant authorities were that they should; increase funding to social security schemes, devise a pension system that is inflation-sensitive, and supplement the NAP with the guidelines suggested by this study.
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    Teachers' classroom practices in addressing learners' errors in algebraic word problems: a case of selected secondary schools in Isoka district.
    (The University of Zambia, 2020) Mubanga, Stephen
    Good classroom practices in algebraic word problems by teachers at junior secondary school level are crucial if learners are to build a strong foundation in mathematics. Algebra is important as it is a pre-requisite to nearly all forms of mathematics. Many scholars analysed learners’ errors in mathematical word problems but did not look at what teachers do in class to identify and correct learners’ errors in algebraic word problems, hence the gap. Therefore, the study explored teachers’ classroom practices in addressing learners’ errors regarding how they engaged grade eight learners in reading; how they probed learners’ understanding; and what they did to enhance learners’ process skills and encoding abilities in algebraic word problems. Five teachers and twenty five learners (in five focus groups discussions of five members each), at three secondary schools in Isoka district of Muchinga province, Zambia were purposively sampled to participate in the study. The study used a qualitative approach which followed a descriptive case study design. Data collection was done using lesson observations, semi-structured interviews, document analysis and focus group discussions. To capture observations and interviews in totality, video and audio recordings were used respectively. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. The five performance strategies of solving word problems by Newman namely; reading ability, comprehension ability, transformation ability, process skills and encoding ability guided the analysis of data. Findings revealed that, although teachers engaged grade eight learners in reading, explaining, and solving of algebraic word problems, they did not adequately follow the five steps of solving word problems as outlined by Newman. Teachers read and explained algebraic word problems for the learners and were inconsistent in probing learners’ understanding of algebraic word problems. Moreover, teachers did very little to enhance learners’ process skills and encoding abilities as even themselves were not consistent in the way they expressed their final answers when solving algebraic word problems. Therefore, teachers did not do enough to discover and correct learners’ errors. In view of these findings, it was recommended that teachers should be oriented to Newman error analysis model so that they can apply it in their classrooms when teaching algebraic word problems as it can help them discover and correct learners’ errors. Teachers should also ensure that they express final answers accurately and consistently and improve their planning on how to engage learners when teaching algebraic word problems. It was further recommended that teachers should allow learners to take a leading role in their own learning as it can help them discover and address learners’ errors.
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    An assessment of the teaching of braille literacy in Zambia: a case of a school for the visually impaired in Ndola district.
    (The University of Zambia, 2019) Masika, Moses Sakai
    With the recent introduction of a curriculum and grades syllabi to guide specialist teachers on how to teach Braille as a subject, there hasn’t been a study to review the current practices regarding the teaching of Braille Literacy. This study therefore, sought to contribute to the understanding of teaching Braille Literacy in special schools in Zambia. Specifically, the study sought to assess the practices in teaching of Braille Literacy, find out methods and techniques used in teaching it and establish associated challenges. A mixed methods design supported by use of qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to collect and analyse data. Purposive sampling was used to select the respondents. The instruments used were questionnaires, observation schedule, and focus group discussion. The sample size was 70 broken down as; 35 pupils and 30 teachers from the study school, and 5 lecturers from two teacher education institutions. Data was collected through use of questionnaires and interview guides. Qualitative data was coded and analysed getting themes and sub-themes presented descriptively. Quantitative data was analysed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software version 20 to generate descriptive statistical information in form of frequencies and percentages. Some of the findings were that; Braille Literacy was being taught although teachers faced a lot of challenges in teaching it. Braille Literacy was not taught as a separate subject and English as opposed to a familiar language was used from grades one to four. Both trained and untrained specialist teachers were assigned to teach it, ordinary methods of teaching were applied, too many pupils in one class and lack of educational resources. These were found to be the major findings in the study school. Based on the above findings, the study recommended that Ministry of Education consider deploying more qualified personnel to schools for the visually impaired; make available teaching and learning resources to support Braille Literacy education in schools for the visually impaired.
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    An investigation into multi-grade teaching on the provision of education in community schools: a case study of Lusaka urban.
    (The University of Zambia, 2019) Phiri, Fridah Neah
    During the 1990‟s Zambia saw a shift politically and economically which resulted in many children not accessing basic education at all. Communities began forming their own schools, usually in the absence of nearby public schools and/or in response to the inability of families to meet the costs associated with government provided schooling. The current education sector plan recognized the critical role community schools played in contributing towards the achievement of Education for All (EFA). This study sought to investigate the outcome of multi-grade teaching on the provision of education in community schools. The study was guided by four objectives; to investigate the outcome of multi-grade teaching on the provision of education in Community Schools, to find out how multi-grade classes are managed during teaching, to explore the challenges faced by teachers and pupils in multi-grade classes and to establish measures to mitigate the challenges faced by teachers and pupils in multi-grade classes. The case study design was used, applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. A population of 840 was selected from six (6) community schools that were using multi-grade teaching in Lusaka urban. A sample of 84 respondents was selected comprising of sixty pupils, twelve community school teachers, six community school administrators and six parents. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview guides and observation schedules. Qualitative data was analyzed using themes by coding and grouping similar ideas. Findings revealed that community schools that were using multi-grade teaching were able to provide education to many children with the use of limited education facilities such as classrooms, desks, books and a few teachers by combining many grades in one classroom. The study revealed that group work was the most used teaching and learning methods in multi-grade classes. The study also revealed that there were no teacher training colleges that trained teachers in the methods of teaching in Multi-grade teaching. The study also found that there was no uniform curriculum that was used in community schools that were using Multi-grade teaching. In line with the research findings, it was recommended that the government should be involved in the running of community schools that were using Multi-grade teaching by providing teaching and learning materials. Further, the existing bursary schemes in the Ministry of Education should be extended to community school going children that are learning in multi-grade classes that manage to qualify to grade eight.
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    Use of differentiated instruction by teachers of mathematics in meeting the diverse needs of pupils in selected secondary schools in Choma district.
    (The University of Zambia, 2019) Chuumbwe, Chikuni
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of differentiated instruction to meet the diverse needs of pupils by teachers of mathematics in four selected secondary schools in Choma District. The sample comprised 178 respondents from four selected secondary schools of which 18 were teachers of mathematics and 160 Grade eleven pupils. Forty pupils from each school participated in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select schools and pupils while purposive sampling was used to select the 18 teachers of mathematics. The study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The research instruments that were used in the study include questionnaires and an observation checklist which were designed by the researcher. There was a questionnaire for pupils and a questionnaire for teachers of mathematics to complete. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16.0) was used to analyse quantitative data from questionnaires using descriptive statistics basically in form frequency tables and histograms. Qualitative data obtained from open-ended questions and an observation checklist was analysed by coding and grouping the emerging themes. The findings of the study revealed that most teachers of mathematics rarely attended to the diverse needs of pupils in the classroom. From pupils’ responses and classroom observations, teachers never grouped pupils either according to their interests or abilities. Teachers of mathematics mainly taught their pupils as a unit not as individuals. Teachers rarely considered the benefit of assessment for learning and focused mainly on end of term and promotional examinations. However, in few cases where teachers of mathematics attempted to differentiate instruction, the study revealed group work, recap strategy, question and answer sessions, homework and remedial work, pupil demonstration and appropriate high level questions to fast learners as some of teaching strategies used by teachers. The study further revealed that in few cases where teaching used the differentiated instruction methods, the major challenges were over-enrolment, insufficient time, abnormal workload, managing the gap between slow and fast learners, pressure from stakeholders to cover the syllabus, insufficient teaching and learning materials, pupils’ poor mathematical background and pupils’ negative attitude towards mathematics. The study recommended that schools through the office of the head teacher should procure sufficient and appropriate teaching and learning materials. It also recommended that Ministry of General Education and Head teachers should focus more on assessment for learning. School administrators and management must control the enrolments to mitigate the challenge of over enrolments. Finally the government must deploy and recruit more teachers of mathematics in secondary schools to reduce the teaching loads for serving teachers.