The Decline of Home Economics in Zambian Basic Schools: The Case of Lusaka District

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Mubita, Likando Simamuna
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This study was about the decline of Home Economics in Zambian Basic Schools of Lusaka Urban District. Data were collected from all the eight zones of the district. Questionnaires, an interview guide, documents, and a camera were used as research instruments. Questionnaires were administered to 25 school managers, 42 Home Economics teachers in the selected basic schools as well as 3 Senior Education Standards Officers from both district and provincial offices. Face to face interviews were conducted with the 5 Home Economics Association of Zambia officials. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze data. Qualitative data from interviews were analyzed manually and according to themes. Then Microsoft Excel was used in the analysis of quantitative data to obtain percentages which were then used to make tables. The findings concerning factors that contributed towards the decline were, lack of facilities, lack of Home Economics rooms, inadequate funds, the costly nature of the subject, some H.E teachers' lack of interest, lack of support from administrators, inadequacy of H.E teachers and irregular visits of SESOs to basic schools. However, the findings concluded that despite the stated factors, the decline of H.E teaching was minimal. The bigger setback among these was that of government not funding the subject. Schools funded mock and final practical examinations themselves. This resulted in teachers resorting to pupil levying and improvisation to carry out practical lessons. The findings on whether enough qualified teachers were provided showed that out of 25 schools 8 schools had no single trained H.E teacher when SESOs had said H.E trained teachers were many. There was an information gap between the SESOs and the trained teachers. Other findings were that Home Economics as a subject still upheld its status and was worthwhile because it teaches self-reliance, health aspects, and it gives life-skills such as cooking, sewing, crafts, laundry, first-aid etc. The recommendations were that the government should train more teachers of the subject and that these should be fairly distributed. MoE should improve funding of H.E teaching so that teachers are enabled to offer the practical aspects of the subject instead of confining themselves to the theory aspects.
Home Economics