Lived experiences of teachers in long-distance marriage in selected secondary schools of Choma district.

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Muwana, Kwalela
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of teachers on long distance marriage in Choma District of Zambia. The study was guided by the following research questions; what are the challenges faced by teachers on distant marriage? What are the factors that lead to distant marriage on teachers? What is the impact of long distant marriage on teachers and finally, to what are the altitudes of teachers on long distance marriage in the three secondary schools of Choma District? These questions formed the main basis for the achievement of the study’s overarching purpose highlighted earlier. The three main factors that contributed to teacher’s leaving apart were employment, promotions and transfers. The highlighted factors can stabilize a family .Family life is important in every society because it comes with positive benefits, which include good parenting, social fulfilment, economic balance, conjugal responsibility, among others. Despite the importance of family life and the benefits that come with it, government does not consider marriage values to be aligned to work. Certainly, the positive effects of marriage may not be ascertained by people who live apart on commuter marriage. Lived experiences of teachers on long distant marriage are of concern. The aim of this study was to assess the lived experiences of teachers faced with long distant marriages and the dynamics on perceived marital as well as job fulfilment in Zambia. In order to assess the lived experiences of teachers on long distance marriage, three objectives guided this study that is; to assess the causes that lead to distant marriage on teachers, to explore the performance of teachers on long distant marriages and thereafter to establish teacher’s altitudes towards long distant marriage. Six main components of teacher profession were: teachers’ family life, parenting, availability on duty, performance, finances and communication. This ethnographic and phenomenological research was conducted at three secondary schools of Choma district. Ethnographic study is defined as a method of qualitative methodology that lends itself to the study of the social interactions, and behaviours’ of small societies, involving participation and observation over a period of time, and the interpretation of the data. Finally, the following recommendations were made; need for convenient change of station process or by putting married workers in reachable distances .Redesign the conditions of service from individualized to a more family accommodative one, reduce on years to serve from one station from 4 to 2 years respectively. Furthermore, improve the teacher’s conditions of service to allow them to run two homes amidst economic pressure .In as much as government desires to reduce on teacher pupil ratio in peri- urban and rural schools teacher motivation, is supposed to be the base of employment, retention and promotion .A happy and marital fulfilled teacher may increase high productivity as compared to a frustrated one.
Long distance relationships. , Interpersonal relations. , Long distance living.