An evaluation of the implementation of the localized curriculum in selected primary schools in Mwansabombwe District, Zambia

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Ng'onomo, Moreblessing
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University of Zambia
Schools are traditionally established as the main meeting platforms for awareness, education, training and capacity building in the local communities, and as such, are highly regarded and respected. They are situated and integrated in nearly all local communities. They are thus perfectly suited to reach, draw on and provide capacity building to the communities. Zambia recently introduced a new curriculum aspect named localized curriculum, which makes up 20% of the curriculum. The purpose of the study is to evaluate implementation of the localized curriculum in selected primary schools in Mwansabombwe district of Zambia. The main research objectives where to: to find out challenges encountered in the implementation of the localized curriculum in Mwansabombwe district, to investigate the views of pupils and stakeholders in Mwansabombwe district on the utilization of skills learned at school under the localized curriculum and to find out possible practical measures and policies in place enhancing the implementation of the localized curriculum in Mwansabombwe district. This study used a descriptive research design and qualitative research methods. The study evaluated the implementation of the localized curriculum in Mwansabombwe district, using checklist, interview guide, questionnaire method and observation of a number of classroom activities in the Mwansabombwe District. It was observed that social learning interactions took place in the implementation of the localized curriculum. In particular the researcher was interested to know, how the different aspects of the localized curriculum enabled social learning at different levels. This research drew on a number of associated research projects that were carried out in southern Africa and beyond. In his research, Namafe (2008) stated that a great need to institutionalize increased participation of Zambian Basic Schools and their local communities in sustainable development of the country in order to alleviate poverty and achieve equitable development. Hogan (2008 ) researching in a different context, argued that contextualization of the curriculum allowed for indigenous knowledge to come in to the classroom, stating that 'Weakening of the frames provided the opportunity of closer relationships to give space for knowledge other than teacher selected knowledge or book knowledge to enter the classroom.' In this study the researcher found that a number of challenges were encountered in the effort to implement the localized curriculum in three schools. These challenges had been major impediments in implementing the localized curriculum in the three selected schools. Pupils and stakeholders had also aired their views regarding the utilization of the skills learned from the localized curriculum. The stake holders had indicated that the skills had helped the pupils to find employment, preserve culture and also utilization of the local resources. The measures to be implemented were also given to the researcher. Most of the pupils expressed concern in the implementation of the localized curriculum; they indicate that they were shortages of learning materials, inadequate teachers, need for extension of time given to practical subjects and poor infrastructure are major hindrances to localized curriculum implementation. The key recommendation of the study were that; Community
Master of Education in Educational Management
Curriculum planning--Localization--Zambia , Curriculum change--Zambia