Experiences and challenges faced by teachers and pupils of large classes in selected secondary schools of Lusaka district of Zambia

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Shwandi, Loveness
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University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences and challenges faced by teachers and pupils of large classes in selected secondary schools of Lusaka district of Zambia. The objectives of the study were to: explore the challenges and experiences faced by teachers and pupils of large classes; identify the teaching strategies used by teachers handling large classes; establish views from school administrators, teachers and pupils on the implications for large class size. Data were collected from forty-five respondents comprising three administrators, six teachers and thirty-six pupils. The study been qualitative, it utilised the descriptive survey design and data were collected using interviews and focus groups guides, observation checklist and document review. Purposive sampling was used to determine the participants. The study established that teachers could not complete marking pupils’ books and that there was too much noise and distractions in the large classes. This concern was also echoed by the pupils. The administrators outlined that teachers could not give as much exercises which compromised quality. In relation to teaching strategies, the researcher observed that most teachers used the lecture and question and answer methods owing to large class size. The study found out that the pupils were aware of what was meant by teaching strategies and that they would appreciate if their teachers used methods that encouraged pupil participation. The teachers and administrators added that large classes were stressful and affected the academic performance of the pupils. It was concluded that while class size affected the choice of strategies that teachers employed, all the participants were aware of the strategies that could be appropriate for large classes. Furthermore, the problematic classroom management would lead inadvertently result in poor academic performance. The study recommended that the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) should consider the introduction of team teaching and build larger classrooms in schools.
Class size teaching--Zambia