Status of teachers in urban and rural basic schools of kafue district of the Lusaka province, Zambia
This study gives empirical evidence on the status of teachers and factors that affect their status in urban and rural areas. It has been argued that teachers in different locations are iccorded different degrees of status (Sidhu, 2005). The purpose of the study was to compare the status of urban and rural basic school teachers in the selected basic schools in Kafue District. The study also aimed at establishing factors that affected the status of teachers in urban and rural basic schools in Kafue District. Specifically the study aimed it analyzing and comparing the status of teachers and investigating factors that affected teachers' status in selected urban and rural basic schools in Kafue District. Fhe study was carried out in four basic schools-two urban and two rural-in Kafue District in Lusaka Province. The pupils and teachers that responded to the questionnaires were irawn from the sampled schools. The sample in the study consisted of 39 teachers, 202 pupils and 40 community members from the communities around the sampled schools. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data from grade nine (9) pupils and teachers, while Focus Group Discussions were used to collect qualitative data from community members. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS while qualitative data were analysed by use of themes and categorisation. The findings were that: 1. The status of teachers both in urban and rural selected basic schools in Kafue District was, to a large degree similar. This was because the factors that affected the status of teachers were similar in both urban and rural schools. However, there was a minimal difference in the status, with those in rural areas enjoying slightly higher status than those in urban. The insignificant difference between the urban and rural teachers was because the factors that affected the status of teachers were similar in both urban and rural schools. 2. Among the major factors which the respondents indicated as affecting the status of teachers were low salaries, lack of housing or accommodation and lack opportunities for professional development and further studies. 3. Though it was found that teachers' salaries were generally low, coupled with lack of decent accommodation and lack of opportunities for professional development, teachers teaching in both areas enjoyed respect from the pupils and public. This was attributed to the fact that the profession was perceived as contributing to national development both at community and national levels. 4. The pupils who indicated that they would not want to take teaching as a career cited low salaries and lack of decent housing as some of the major reasons. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made. • The government should improve the general conditions of service for teachers.