Factors and the nature of low reading achievement among grade two pupils: The case of selected schools in Mpika and Mbala Districts

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Mwambazi, Stanley
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The study aimed at exploring the factors and the nature of the low reading achievement among grade two (2) pupils. Sixty grade two (2) pupils, thirty girls and thirty boys, comprised the samples while six basic school Head teachers, six School In-service Coordinators (SICs) and seventy-six grade two teachers were the respondents. The respondents and the samples were drawn from selected basic schools in Mbala and Mpika districts of the Northern Province of Zambia. The instruments used to collect data include the Basic Skills Assessment Tool (BASAT),questionnaires, the Interview Guide, and the Lesson Observation Form (LOF).Test results of the study confirm that grade two (2) pupils in target schools were not able to read Zambian Language and English according to their grade level.The related Chi-square tests which were done on the test results from BASAT show that there was no significant difference in performance among the six basic schools. The study revealed that grade two pupils were not able to read according to their grade level due to absenteeism; shortage of suitable teaching/learning materials; shortage of teachers particularly those trained in PRP methodologies; large classes; poor family and educational back ground; poor and inadequate infrastructure; pupils not breaking through in grade one; inadequate time allocated for literacy/reading lessons; and un familiar language of instruction. Basing on the findings of the study, recommendations were made to the relevant authorities of the education system. The recommendations include: Adequate appropriate teaching/learning materials for literacy/reading in English should be continually supplied tobasic schools; grade two teachers should be closely supervised and supported, and should be encourage to establish closer links with learners’ homes; teachers of the first two grades of lower basic section should be adequately trained in NBTL and SITE methodologies in order to ensure pupils who do not break through in grade one are assisted to read in grade two; more teachers should be deployed so that there should be two teachers per lesson in grades one and for adequate supervision of the many learning activities in NBTL and SITE; and construction of school infrastructure should be increased and should be more equitably distributed.
Reading elementary , Reading(Early Childhood)