Factors affecting Girls' Completion of Basic Education: The Case of some Basic Schools in Chongwe District
Mbolela, Rose Mumba
The study investigated the factors that contribute to girls' low completion of basic education in some selected schools of Chongwe District of Lusaka Province. The objectives of the study were to find out if the attitudes of girls towards school contribute to their low completion of basic education; to investigate if the school environment contributes to low completion of basic school education and to find out if the home environment has an effect on low completion of basic education among girls in some selected school s of Chongwe district. A case study design was used by the researcher. The target population for the study comprised teachers, pupils and parents in some selected schools in Chongwe district. A sample total of 139 respondents were selected. It consisted of sixty (60) teachers, forty two (42) pupils, and thirty (30) parents. The study was guided by the interaction theories such as labelling, where there is relationship between class and interaction. Another theory which guided the study was the conflict perspective of social stratification, where there is a relationship between class and academic achievement. Data was collected using questionnaires, semi structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Questionnaires were administered to the teachers while interviews were conducted with parents and Focus Group Discussions with the girls. Quantitative data was presented in percentages and frequency tables using a hand calculator while data from interviews and Focus Group Discussions was analysed qualitatively by coding and grouping similar themes together using constant comparative techniques. The target population comprised all the head teachers, teachers, pupils in grades eight and nine and parents of pupils in all the seven basic schools under study in Chongwe District.Data was largely analysed qualitatively. Data obtained through interviews and focus group discussions was analysed by coding and grouping the emerging themes. Some qualitative data was converted manually and summarized in order to obtain concise measures of the data by using descriptive statistics. The data was then presented quantitatively as percentages and in frequency tables using a hand calculator.The findings of the study revealed that girls' low completion of basic education was affected by girls' attitudes towards school, physical facilities found at schools, lack of models at school and home, parents' educational levels,distances between homes and schools and the poor relationships that existed between teachers and girls.