Response of administrators to poor performance in O-level physics examinations : The case of selected high schools of Copperbelt province

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Mumba, Ndashye
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This study aimed at investigating the response of School Administrators to poor performance in O-level Physics examinations. The study further aimed at finding out the views held by School Administrators on the high failure rate and the measures they had put in place to improve performance. The School Administrators included school Headteachers and Heads of Science Departments. The teachers of Physics were also included in the study. A sample size of 100 subjects was used, which included 12 Headteachers, 12 Heads of Science Departments and 76 teachers of Physics from 12 selected High Schools on the Copperbelt. Only High schools which offered O-level Physics were considered and these included Mpelembe, Kitwe Boys, Helen Kaunda, Saint John's Convent, Mindolo, Saint Andrews, Kansenshi, Dominican Convent, Ndola Modern, Muzi, Ibenga Girls and Sacred Heart High Schools.Physics Education in Zambia is one of the Science subjects which had continued to produce a high failure rate in examinations.It was however hoped that this study would provide vital information for Policy Makers,School Administrators, teachers of Physics and other Researchers who might want to venture into this field of study.The research methods used were fundamentally quantitative and qualitative, incorporating non participant observation, questionnaire survey and interviews. The findings revealed that the School Administrators had the following views about the poor performance in Physics : -lack of support from School Headteachers; -inadequate funding; -low teacher morale; - lack of Physics text books, equipment and Physics apparatus. In an attempt to improve performance, the following measures had been put in place in the High Schools visited: -constantly motivating pupils about the importance of Physics in Science and Technology. -increased contact periods for Physics classes; -in-house workshops for teachers of Physics; -employ qualified teachers of Physics; - twin schools with better resourced schools that are within the country or outside for support in the supply of Physics instructional materials. The recommendations of the study included the view that School Administrators must be given an orientation or training on how to effectively administer Physics in schools;inspectorate services should be intensified in High Schools; there should be provision of equipment and Physics instructional materials needed for practicals; authorities should organize in-service training for Physics teachers who need to acquire new skills.
Physics -- Study and teaching , Examinations