The impact of the free education policy on the infrastructure and learning materials at primary school level: a case of selected schools of Solwezi district.
The University of Zambia
The study sought to establish the impact of free education policy on infrastructure and learning materials at primary school level in selected schools of Solwezi District. The objectives of the study were: to establish the state of the infrastructure and learning materials in the context of the free-education policy in selected primary schools of Solwezi District; to investigate the impact of the current state of the infrastructure and learning materials on the teaching and learning process in selected primary schools of Solwezi District; to establish the role of school managers in enhancing proper infrastructure and learning materials in selected primary schools ofSolwezi District; and to recommend possible measures to improve the infrastructure and leaning materials in selected primary schools of Solwezi District. Descriptive survey design namely cross-sectional was used and employed mixed methods but with a greater focus on qualitative research. The target group was drawn from the selected schools of Solwezi District and District Education standards officers giving a total number of 69. 3 Standards officers and the 8 head teachers were sampled using the non-probability procedure engaging purposive sampling technique while the 16 teachers and the 40 pupils were sampled using simple random sampling method. The instruments for collecting data were: interviews schedules for standards officers and head teachers, questionnaires for teachers, Focus Group Discussions (FGD) for pupils and observations. Data collected from questionnaires was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while data collected from interviews and FGD was analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. After the FPE policy, the physical infrastructure and learning materials increased thus fairly adequate but could not cater for the high enrolments numbers of pupils causing overcrowding and poor teaching and learning. The significance of the study was to benefit the stakeholders in knowing the constraints of inadequate physical infrastructures and learning materials that needed their contribution. Policy makers would identify strategies and re-define the policy framework on the provision to curb the congestion, add knowledge in the area and identify the gaps that needed further research. The findings indicated inadequate and poor condition of infrastructure and learning materials hindering pupils’ space and access hence poor quality education.It was also imperative for head teachers to utilise their managerial skills to enhance proper infrastructure and learning materials for school improvement. Based on the findings, the study made recommendations directed to the infrastructure and learning materials which were grounded on the improvements in the free education policy Key terms: Impact, education policy, learning, infrastructure, learning materials, primary schools.
Universal primary education in Zambia. , Infrastructure and learning materials. , Free education--Effect of. , School infrastructure--Zambia.