Implementation of Geography field project in Zambian high schools: A survey of Livingstone and Monze of Southern Province

Thumbnail Image
Mundende, Kasonde
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The New Zambian High School Geography Curriculum (NZHSGC) that was launched in the year 2000 by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) of the Ministry of Education (MoE) carried with it a new component called the field project. The reason for proposing a field project was that the geography which was taught in schools then was just theoretical, text-book based and left pupils with little knowledge of their local areas. In addition, it effectively alienated the learners from their environment instead of imparting greater awareness of the same in them (Ntalasha et al 2004). In view of these concerns, this study evaluated the implementation process of the Geography Field Project (GFP) in six Zambian High Schools (ZHS) in the Southern Province of Zambia. The study investigated views, beliefs, attitudes as well as feelings and challenges experienced by Grade 11 and 12 pupils taking geography. It also sought the views of geography teachers who taught the new component of the field project, school managers and the MoE officers respectively. This study was very largely qualitative hence the use of research questions only rather than hypotheses. The questions used were: (a) What problems did teachers and pupils face in implementing geography field project in ZHS? (b) What should be the professional and academic qualifications for teachers of geography handling geography field project in ZHS? (c) What should be the specific geographical skills for a teacher handling a geography field project? (d) How equipped are the ZHS in terms of relevant geography field project? The research aimed at bringing out practical challenges experienced by stakeholders in order to equip them with necessary solutions to each concern. The study also sought to establish how each respondent group alleviated practical problems that were encountered in implementing the project. The main objectives of this study were: (a) To establish the problems teachers and pupils faced in implementing the project, (b) To find out the extent to which geography field project stakeholders were meeting the basic conditions in the implementation of the geography field project in ZHS as stated by authors such as Tilbury and Williams (1997) (eds) and AMSS (1958). This study employed descriptive and evaluative study design approaches to get different views, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions about the implementations of the project among different respondents.Although the NZHSGC was launched in the year 2000, the project component has not yet yielded satisfactory results because of various reasons. These included (a) inadequately trained teachers in project related courses (b) lack of appreciation of field projects by education administrators at different levels (c) unfavourable socio-economic, natural and environmental factors, (d) inadequate resources and (e) time for mounting field projects.To alleviate some of the challenges and experiences during the implementation of the geography field project in ZHS this study recommends that the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) through its appropriate wings should provide adequately trained teachers in project related courses and also remunerate teachers who handle the field project. In addition, the (GRZ) should centralize the marking of the project reports at national level by inviting all teachers involved at one place to minimize the delay and missing of reports.
Geography--Study and teaching--Zambia