Teachers' homework practices towards learners with reading difficulties in Sefula Zone ordinary Primary Schools, Mongu District

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Mukubonda, Mulonda
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The purpose of the study was to establish teachers’ homework practices towards learners with reading difficulties in six ordinary primary schools of Sefula Zone, Mongu District. The research design was a descriptive survey using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study consisted of a total sample size consisted of 120 respondents of which 72 were teachers and 24 were parents of learners with reading difficulties, and 24 were learners with reading difficulties. Self-report questionnaires were administered to 72 teachers. In addition, data was collected from focus group discussion with teachers, learners and parents. Quantitative data was analysed thematically while Qualitative data was analysed using qualitative descriptive analysis (QDA) using SPSS database software version 20. The findings were that teachers indicated that they either ‘usually’ or ‘always’ assigned homework to learners with reading difficulties on sensible and justifiable rationales. The findings further indicated that teachers did not constantly cater for learners with difficulties when assigning homework and those teachers did not constantly involve parents in the homework of their children with reading difficulties. Finally, it was discovered that most teachers either ‘usually’ or ‘always’ gave feedback to learners with reading difficulties that was more teacher centred than learner centred. Teachers’ homework practices was attributed to over enrolment, huge number of children with reading difficulties, inadequate time, cheating by learners, illiterate parents and parents not staying with their children. In conclusion, it can be concluded that teachers instituted sensible and good practices in terms of rationale for assigning homework to learners with reading difficulties. However, teachers did not cater for learners with reading difficulties by considering their interest, letting them read aloud in class, giving them learning materials and providing individual attention. Although most teachers and parents in the study agreed that parental involvement in homework was significant, parental involvement in homework in all the schools involved in the study was not good. In addition, teachers’ feedback was more teacher - centred than learner - centred. As such it was not beneficial and not constructive to learners with reading difficulties. The study recommends that: there should be regular continuous monitoring and evaluation, learners that are not doing well in academic work particularly in reading should not progress to the next grade, teachers should give constructive and learner centred feedback, and school administrators should control enrollment.
Reading disabilities-Zambia