The influence of parental involvement on primary school learners' academic performance in numeracy and literacy in Kalomo district,Southern province

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Simweleba, Hantuba Never
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The University of Zambia
Parental involvement is one of the important factors in pupil academic achievement. This study was conducted in Kalomo district, Southern Province, Zambia to assess whether an intervention to enhance the quality of interaction of parents with Grade four learners in homework would improve the learners’ performance in numeracy and literacy. The impact of the intervention was assessed on four indicators: the performance of learners on tests of elementary Math and Chitonga reading, vocabulary and spelling; the quality of parent-child interaction in homework; the quality and frequency of parent-school communication in homework; and the use of home resources in the instruction of children to increase numeracy and literacy skills. Two rural primary schools were selected; one as a control and the other as target of intervention. Forty-two learners and their parents were enlisted. The intervention group of parents received sensitization on how to support their children in homework using available local resources and on parent-child-interactions. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data from parents while nationally standardized tests in Math and Chitonga were used to collect data from learners to assess their performance. The study found that performance of learners in Math and Chitonga in the intervention school was significantly higher at post-test, and this improvement was significantly greater than in the control school. This was attributed to the increased parent-child-interaction in homework and use of home resources in home instruction of children on learners’ academic performance. No relationship was found between parental ratings of home-school-communication and the academic performance of learners. It is concluded that policies, programmes and interventions that involve parents in the educational activities of children can be used to improve learners’ performance. Therefore, the study recommends that the Ministry of Education should consider ways of engaging parents on how they can make use of local resources to assist their children in different subjects so that learning skills through using concrete objects can begin at home. In addition, homework should be considered as one way of working together with parents in order to improve learners’ academic performance as learners continue learning at home.
Numeracy and literacy--Study and teaching--Zambia , Parental participation--Academic performance--Pupils--Zambia