Factors affecting pupil academic performance at grade twelve(12) level of selected grant -aided secondary schools in Southern province of Zambia.

Thumbnail Image
Maluma, Phioner
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to identify the factors affecting pupil academic performance of the selected high and low performing grant-aided secondary schools in Southern Province of Zambia at grade 12 level for the past five years (2011 – 2015). The objectives that guided the study were: two and these were; To identify factors accounting for constant high and constant low pupil academic performance among the selected grant-aided secondary schools of Southern Province of Zambia for the past five (5) years (2011 – 2015) and to identify the measures that have been put in place to improve performance in low performing grant-aided selected secondary schools. The study used a descriptive survey design. The mixed method of qualitative and quantitative techniques of collecting data was utilized. Four (4) grant-aided secondary schools were purposefully selected; two (2) were high performing while the other two (2) were low performing. The sample size was 135 comprising school proprietors, District Education Standard officers, Head teachers, Deputy head teachers, Heads of department, classroom teachers and grade 12 pupils. The data was collected through closed ended and open ended selfadministered questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group discussion and document review. The collected data was analysed thematically. The study revealed that the excellent performance of the two high performing schools could be attributed to the availability of constant proprietor support and assertiveness, competent administrators and availability of adequate infrastructure, among others while low academic performance of the low performing schools was attributed to inconsistent proprietor support, incompetent administrators, lack of appropriate teaching and learning resources and lack of teachers and pupil motivation, among others. The study further highlighted the measures that both high performing and low performing schools had put in place to maintain the good perform ance in high performing schools and to improve performance for the low performing. These include interalia, allocation of funds to purchase required materials, use of experienced teachers to teach grade twelve (12) classes, use of grade retention, strengthening of implementation of School Based Continuous Professional Development (SBCPD) for teachers and to enhance internal supervision. The study concluded that the variations in the pupil academic performance in the selected grant aided secondary schools hinged mainly on the instrumentality of the proprietors and v competences of the administrators. In the high performing schools proprietors and administrators provided; Functional supervision, adequate teaching and learning resources, adequate infrastructure, teacher and pupil motivation among many others. In low performing schools; Functional supervision was missing, teaching and learning materials were inadequate; infrastructure was inadequate, lack of pupil and teacher motivation among others. The measures that were put in place for both high and low performing schools included: Budget allocation for teaching and learning resources, intensifying on internal supervision, assigning experienced teachers to handle grade 12 classes on one hand. On the other hand Low performing schools had transferred the incompetent administrators, strengthened motivation of teachers and pupils, were lobbying for funds to attend to the inadequate infrastructure. The study recommended that proprietors should constantly support the schools they own and tho roughly scrutinize personnel recommended for administrative roles. The study also recommended that proprietors who have failed to manage schools should surrender the schools to the government. Furthermore, the study recommended that the administrators should work diligently to ensure smooth running of the schools.
Academic--Performance--Grant aided schools