The effects of education boards on the operations of basic schools in Zambia : A case of selected District education boards in the Copperbelt Province

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Mvula, Kadange Van-Wyk
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The study looked at the effects of Education Boards on the operations of basic schools in Zambia. It was carried out in Ndola and Masaiti Districts in the Copperbelt Province where Education Boards were first piloted in 1995. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. A sample of 268 respondents was selected for the study from 10 basic schools in Ndola and 10 basic schools in Masaiti Districts.The study used questionnaires, semi structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions to collect data. Quantitative data collected from questionnaires was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data from interviews and Focus Group Discussions were analysed qualitatively by coding and grouping similar themes together into groups using constant comparative techniques. The study used Tables, Charts and Graphs in the examination and presentation of data after analysis.The findings of the study revealed that District Education Boards had improved the operations of basic schools in a number of ways. For instance, the supply of teaching/learning materials and equipment by the Boards, and frequent visitations to schools by Education Standards Officers for monitoring purposes were found to be significant factors that supported the smooth operations of basic schools as they led to quality education provision. The study also found out that the Boards supported Continuous Professional Development of the teachers in schools which greatly motivated the teachers to improve their performance resulting into school improvement. In addition, the study revealed that the Boards formulated local policies which were in line with national policies to provide direction to basic Schools under their jurisdiction, and regulated enrolment levels and fees charged in basic schools as a way of maintaining quality standards in schools. The study further showed that the Boards closely monitored and supervised basic schools through the information that they requested for and received from them, and that all basic schools received grants termly through their respective Boards. These funds were used to purchase items such as note books for teachers, chalk, pens and pencils which in turn enhanced the operations of these basic schools. The study also found out that most basic schools witnessed either rehabilitation or construction which changed the faces of their buildings thereby attracting teachers and pupils to attend classes in a condusive environment.The study revealed that the Boards did not succeed in the following areas:mobilization of local resources and recruitment of additional staff in schools where staffing levels did not match with their establishment so as to supplement government efforts; and in the involvement of the Governance bodies by the Management teams in planning and decision making for the operations of basic schools.
Education -- Zambia