Pupils'perception towards grade retention and it's effects on academic perfomance in selected grant-aided secondary schools in central province,Zambia

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Phiri, William
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The University of Zambia
ABSTRACT The purpose of the study was to establish pupils’ perceptions towards grade retention and its effects on academic performance in selected grant-aided secondary schools in Central province of Zambia. The study used a case study research design which combined qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection and analysis. The target population comprised all pupils, guidance and counselling teachers and deputy head teachers from selected grant-aided secondary schools. The data were collected through questionnaires, interview schedules and analysis of pupil’s progress record cards. Qualitative data were analysed thematically through identification of themes that emerged from data. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 20.0) was used to generate descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages or tables The study revealed that most of the pupils in grant-aided secondary schools perceive grade retention as something that is good. The positive perception can mainly be attributed to the high levels of awareness among pupils about the existence of the policy, parental involvement and vigorous counselling programmes among other factors. The findings also showed that the policy has positive effects on pupils’ academic performance because in most instances, it has caused their academic performances to improve. The study further revealed that these schools have successfully implemented the policy of grade retention. Based on the findings, the following recommendations emerged: 1. School authorities should encourage teachers to enhance studying of pupils in mixed ability-groups as a strategy to foster sharing of knowledge. 2. Teachers should offer individualised attention to pupils earmarked for grade retention so that they can improve their academic performance. 3. Schools should introduce weekend learning so as to help those pupils who have been earmarked for grade retention. 4. Extra time should be provided by the school authorities at the end of the school terms especially terms 1 and 2 to those pupils whose academic performance shows weakness during the term. 5. Grant-aided secondary schools should promote the use of ICTs to help pupils improve in their academic performance thereby getting rid of grade retention. 6. Grant-aided secondary schools should implement grade retention policy in conformity with the Examination Council of Zambia policy on examination numbers.
Academic achievement--Zambia , Grade retention--Zambia , Grade repetition--Zambia , Reading(primary)--Ability testing , Third grade education--Zambia