Perceptions of Learners,Parents and Female Pupils Towards The Schools Re-entry Policy: A case study of Selected Secondary Schools of Kabwe District In Zambia

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Chewe, Bwalya
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The University of Zambia
This study was instituted to establish perceptions that the teachers, parents and secondary school girls hold toward the school re-entry policy as well as to determine their knowledge levels of this policy in selected secondary schools in Kabwe district of central province. The aim of the study was to establish the perceptions of teachers, parents and female pupils towards the school re-entry policy. A descriptive survey design was selected for this study with both qualitative and quantitative approaches at play to explore and describe the findings. Data collection included the use of structured questionnaires with teachers and pupils while in-depth interviews with some teachers and pupils to consolidate the responses from the questionnaires. In addition, focus group discussion was used with the parents to establish their perceptions towards the policy and how much they know about it. The sample of this study was 156 broken down as follows: 91 girls drawn from 5 secondary schools, 45 teachers and 20 parents. Statistical package for social sciences was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Generally, the study revealed that the knowledge levels of the secondary school girls, teachers and parents of the re-entry policy are quite low. This is so because, despite most respondents agreeing that they were aware of the presence of the policy, further interviews showed that they could not spell out the exact guidelines of the policy and what prompted its introduction. A good number of teachers, about 58% indicated that there has been an increase in the number of pregnancies among school girls ever since the re-entry policy was introduced. The teachers were not able to give the exact statistics of the alleged increase however, what came out in the study was an assumption that many girls are taking advantage of the policy owing to its present form which is seen as promoting promiscuity among pupils. With regards to the parents’ perceptions towards the policy, the study found that out of the 20 respondents, only 2 had positive sentiments about it. The rest expressed fear that the presence of this policy has made children not to care about their morals, in fact some of them were calling for the removal of the policy. The majority of the girls do appreciate the presence of the policy however they feel that in its present form, the girls are abusing it. The study further revealed that all the stakeholders involved in the study feel that the majority of the school girls are engaging in sexual activities both within and outside school which is leading to an increase in pregnancy rates. Some of them attributed this kind of behavior to the presence of the re-entry policy. It can be concluded that the findings do not sit well with the liberal feminist theory from which the ideas of the re-entry policy were borrowed. It can therefore be recommended that the Ministry of General Education should intensify sensitization on the provisions of the policy among key stakeholders such as teachers, parents, the church, traditional leaders and pupils. Additionally, the government should engage the agencies of the grant aided schools on how best to modify the policy so that they too can implement it.
Continuing education , Adult education