Factors that lead to low reading levels in Chinyanja and English language at the Middle Basic level: A case of grade 5 pupils learning under read on (ROC) in selected basic Schools in Lusaka District

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Chibamba, Chileshe Agness
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The study’s main purpose was to investigate the factors that contributed to low reading levels in both Chinyanja and English languages among Grade 5 pupils learning under ROC in selected basic schools in Lusaka District. The study employed qualitative data collection and analysis procedures to establish the reasons for low reading levels in Chinyanja and English languages among Grade 5 pupils learning under ROC ten years after PRP had been introduced. The researcher employed interviews and Focus Group Discussions to collect data from 68 respondents comprising of 4 school managers, 16 teachers, 8 parents and 40 pupils from the four selected basic schools. Data was also collected using observation methods and documents analysis. The instruments used were observation checklist, interview guide and focus group discussion guide.The present review establishes clearly that the factors that seemed to have the greatest impact on the low reading levels among Grade 5 pupils learning under ROC are family, pupil, teacher and school related. Some of the factors cited include; lack of ROC materials and classroom libraries, lack of supervision of ROC teachers by relevant authorities, teacher and pupil transfers from regions with different language background, teachers and pupils language background which did not agree with the language of instruction – Chinyanja, new technology, home environment which did not support continued practice in reading and poor or inadequate training of teachers in literacy teaching. A number of recommendations have come out of this study and the following are some of them: The MOE should secure the ROC Teaching and Learning Resources in schools for teachers to use when planning lessons. Teachers too, should be creative enough so that they can obtain the teaching and learning resources from the surrounding environment such and pamphlets from other disciplines. Above all, the MOE with support from other stakeholders (e. g Room to Read) should take up the challenge and develop the training programme for both school managers and teachers to facilitate effective implementation of ROC. School Managers too, should encourage ROC School-Based Training such as revitalization of Teacher Group Meetings. A form of ‘parents’ education’ is required to prepare them to support their children’s literacy development despite their economic and language background.
Reading(Primary)--Lusaka, Zambia , Reading habits