Assessment of the influence of formal education on girls’ initiation rites: a case study of Nyangombe day secondary school, Samuteba ward in Mwinilunga district, north-western province, Zambia.

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Kanchinyi, Japhet
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The University of Zambia
Due to the various social gaps that have been identified as hindrances to formal education of girls, such as early marriage, teenage pregnancies and high prevalent rates of HIV among school girls, Zambia has joined many other countries in the world that are advocating for the inclusion of sexuality education in formal curricular, the idea that it earlier objected on grounds that it promoted sexuality among young girls. This is not the case as at now and can be described as getting back to the old basics as the value of providing sexuality education which girls initiation rites stood for has been realised. Though this shift, it must be acknowledged that, formal education deconstructes girls initiation rites hence it is almost non existence in Nyangombe community a situation that has negatively affected formal education of girls. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of formal education on girls initiation rite by considering various influences it has afflicted on formal education, examine the content and values of girls initiation rites as these are cardinal in bridging the social gap that has been created and also the consequences that would arise as a result of abandoning girls initiation rites. After investigating the influence of formal Education on girls initiation rite at Nyangombe day secondary school using various research questions which were formulated and centred on girls initiation rites and current formal educational system in Zambia with specific reference to Nyangombe community, the research findings indicated that formal education has negatively affected the conduct, prevalence, duration, content and all other aspects of girls initiation rites to a point of non existence a situation that has backfired on formal education. The discussion of the findings which were based on the three research objectives of this research indicated that, there has been a steady retardation in the practice of girls initiation rite as evidenced by 100% response. The contents and values inculcated by girls initiation rites were cardinal as they bridged that social gap. It has further been ascertained that, abandoning girls initiation rite would result into various vices which tends to be antagonistic to the attainment of formal education. In summary, formal education has deconstructed girls initiation rite, a trend that has costed its overall purpose. The idea of introducing sexuality education back to schools is one and the same as emphasising girls initiation rites. It is the only way of bringing sanity to what has been lost and must be supported by all if formal education is to be respected.
Initiation rites. , Formal education.