Role of consumer education in addressing income elasticity of demand among teachers in selected zones of Zambia’s Lusaka district.

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Sitimela, Marvis
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The University of Zambia
This study investigated the role of consumer education in addressing income elasticity of demand among teachers. The study was conducted because income elasticity of demand among Zambian teachers of Lusaka district had a significant effect on their socio-economic livelihood and financial freedom which affected their sustainable consumption. This study employed a concurrent embedded mixed method study design in its methodological perspective. The data collection methods used were semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The sample comprised of 95 teachers, 5 headteachers from selected schools in Chilenje, Mumuni and Kaunda Square zones and 5 standard officers from Ministry of General Education. Teachers were sampled out using stratified sampling while stratified purposeful sampling was used to sample headteachers and standard officers. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic approach while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics in form of tables, charts and Pearson correlation were generated using Special Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), and in some instances Microsoft ware and Excel were used. The study established that teachers’ sustainable consumption had been affected by income increase as this was demonstrated in teachers’ expenditures with a mean score of 3.73 and consumption of luxurious goods and services with a mean score of 3.37. This caused unsustainable consumption because such teachers were not able to save and invest for future consumption. The challenges caused by income increase on the socio-economic livelihood of teachers were overborrowing from financial lending institutions, beer drinking and poverty. The study established that teachers developed financial freedom of making choices that allowed them to enjoy life, which made them to use up all their income supported with a mean score of 3.44. Borrowing unsustainably had a mean score of 3.76, servicing more than one loan at once with a mean score of 3.12 and debt creation with a mean score of 3.94. Furthermore, the study established that consumer education could be used to address challenges caused by income elasticity through imparting knowledge on how to plan and diversify, changing their attitudes and promoting skills on financial management and how to plan before spending. The government through the Ministry of General Education needs to arise to the occasion and promote consumer education so that skills, knowledge and attitudes are imparted to teachers. The study further recommends that the Ministry of General Education should set up programmes on how to reach out to teachers in schools and educate them on the importance of spending wisely. Key words: Consumer education, Income elasticity of demand and sustainable consumption
Consumer education , Income elasticity of demand and sustainable consumption