Challenges in Educational Partnership in Rural High Schools of Luapula Province of Zambia

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Mukunta, Kaputo Denis
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This study discusses the challenges of educational partnerships in selected rural high schools of Luapula Province of Zambia. In this survey four high schools in Luapula Province were sampled, namely: Kawambwa Technical, Mununga, Nchelenge and Ponde. The objectives set for the study included investigating types of partnerships available in these schools, assessing contributions of these partnerships in improving education delivery, ascertaining the input levels of partnership collaboration with schools in quality education delivery, and finding out challenges encountered in fostering educational partnerships. This study used both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative approach was used to collect data that needed to be quantified. Instruments used varied depending on different target groups. Where questionnaires could not suffice, semi-structured interviews were used. Focus group discussions were used for large groups. The respondents in the survey included members of the wider communities, school board members and Parents Teachers Association members (80), teachers (40), education officers and school administrators (10), local business entrepreneurs, Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO), Faith Based Organizations (FBO) (12) and pupils (40). The total sample was 182. Data analysis depended on the themes that emerged from the findings. The types of partnerships found include those with FBOs, NGOs, CBOs and community through PTAs and School Boards. The contributions from these partnerships included provision of school bursary schemes to pupils, transport, infrastructure development and maintenance, staff support programmes and resource mobilization. Some challenges noted from these partnerships included lack of support from local business houses, absence of linkages with other stakeholders, lack of transparency in schools, lack of capital injection for bigger projects, and absence of sensitization of local communities on the importance of partnerships. The study recommends for on-going sensitization programmes for stakeholders to allow for appreciation and ownership of schools; Improved communication between schools and stakeholders; involving stakeholders in the planning of school programmes; School boards should be versatile in school based policy formulation; Harmonizing mobilization of resources with teaching and learning; and ensuing that communities make land available for school use.