An Assessment of the Educational Structure of High Schools: The case study of selected High Schools of Kabwe District

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Kambwili, Barbra Ngosa
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In Zambia in 2010, the educational structure of secondary schools is from grade eight to grade twelve and the structure of high schools is from grade ten to grade twelve. However, it has been observed by the teachers who teach in high schools, high school administrators and the standards officers that the educational structure of high schools (Grades 10 to 12) is not a better structure compared to the secondary school structure (Grades 8 to 12).A concern by the high school teachers, school administrators and education officials was being expressed about the educational structure of high schools. The academic performance of the pupils in the high schools had gone down since its introduction but it was not the case in the secondary schools. This is because of the low calibre of pupils received from basic schools which were inadequately equipped. For example, they lacked qualified teachers in most of the subjects and they also lacked learning and teaching materials. This study was an assessment of the educational structure of high schools, the case of selected high schools in Kabwe district. An assessment of the educational structure of high schools brought out some of the problems and challenges experienced; such as, lack of textbooks and teaching materials; lack of qualified human resources in the high and basic schools; lack of funds to run schools effectively; lack of adequate infrastructure like laboratories, wood and metal workshops, geometrical and technical drawing rooms; and lack of proper classrooms to cater for the large number of pupils being enrolled in high schools. These problems and challenges could be addressed by the government through the Ministry of Education. The survey method, using both qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting and analysing the data, was adopted. The sample consisted of five urban based coeducation high schools. The data were collected through questionnaires and interviews. The key informants included: teachers who taught in high schools, school administrators, and officials from the Ministry of Education at the Provincial level. The findings from the study showed that the structure of high schools was not an effective system because of the low calibre of pupils from basic schools. Lack of qualified teachers and learning and teaching aids were contributing factors to the low academic performance in the high schools. The results also generally indicated that other factors such as non-availability of funds from the government, lack of infrastructure in the high schools, quantity did not favour quality: that is if there were many pupils in one class quality education delivery by a teacher is not there, lack of motivation by pupils and overcrowded classes contributed to the educational structure of high schools not being an effective system. The recommendations were that the government should go back to the structure of the secondary schools because there was continuity and pupils were taught by the same teachers from grade eight to grade twelve; that the school administrators should continue to advocate for the high schools to be adequately funded; send more teachers to the University of Zambia and other higher institutions of learning; send qualified teachers to basic schools because some are seconded; equip basic schools with laboratories; technical drawing rooms, wood and metal workshops; provide better incentives for teachers in high schools and continuously send teachers for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) workshops in the subjects they teach.
Education infrastructure--Zambia , Education infrastructure--High Schools--Zambia