Factors affecting the retention levels of pupils in public primary schools in selected schools in Kitwe district.

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Tembo, Brenda
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The University of Zambia
The major concern of this study was that, despite Kitwe District being highly economical, having free primary education and a re-entry policy, some school going age children are still locked out of school whereas dropouts continue to be pervasive. The objectives of the study were to investigate the factors that influence low retention levels in public primary schools in Kitwe District; to ascertain the age and grades of pupils with high dropout rate levels in public primary schools in Kitwe District. The study also sought to establish measures that could be taken to improve retention levels of pupils in public primary schools of Kitwe District. The research is a mixed method approach- both qualitative and quantitative for data collection. The study used semi-structured interview guide for head teachers, questionnaires for teachers, focus group discussion for pupils, parents and school dropouts. It was then presented using distribution tables, bar and clustered graphs. While qualitative data was in the form of explanation as themes emerged. The findings of the study were that the retention level of pupils in public primary schools was low. The problem of dropout affected girls more than boys. The first objective found that the factors that influence retention levels of pupils in public primary schools in Kitwe District were poverty among others. The second objective showed that the most affected age was 14 and 15 years. The third objective showed that most pupils dropout of school at grade 7. The fourth objective showed that education tours and sensitization to parents and pupils on the importance of education is advisable. The study recommended that the government should conduct aggressive campaigns through churches to sensitise the community on the importance of education.
High school dropouts--Factors.