Parental participation in the acquisition of initial literacy skills among grade one learners in selected homes in Monze District of Zambia

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Hazwela, John
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University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the extent to which parents were involved in the acquisition of literacy skills among grade one learners in Monze District. The study established the type of home literacy activities which support literacy development. The study further investigated what parents perceive as challenges to their involvement in their children’s literacy skills development. The study employed both the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in order to triangulate data collection. A sample of 112 participants was drawn from three selected schools. This sample comprised 52 parents and 60 pupils. The schools and parents were selected purposefully while pupils were selected randomly. Data was collected using questionnaires, Focused Group Discussions, Home literacy checklist and practical test. The qualitative data was analysed thematically while quantitative data was analysed using figures in excel. The findings of the study revealed that parents in the study were involved in the acquisition of literacy skills of their learners. The study found out that although parents said that they were involved in literacy activities, they were not aware that they were supposed to help their children in order to enhance their literacy skills through home literacy activities. It was further noted that folktales, playing games, storytelling at bedtime were not popular among both learners and their parents instead those who owned Television sets preferred watching television. The study also revealed that those parents who were unable to read and write could not help their children in reading and homework. In many homes there were no shelves where children could access reading materials. The study further showed that books were not available for children to read in many homes. Furthermore, the study showed that although most of the parents indicated that they bought their children writing materials, and had calendars, Bibles, wall clocks and religious charts, they did not consider these as literacy related materials. The parents felt that it was the duty of schools to teach children academic work and their role was to provide uniforms and school fees. Parents also cited lack of financial resources, non-availability of library services as hindrances to their efforts to help the learners. The following are the recommendations arising from the study: To share with parents on the need to take keen interest in the education of their children, teachers to engage parents and show them that they were partners in the education of their children; schools to create well established partnerships with parents. Schools to bridge the gap between home and school in order to work together to help learners, parents should be encouraged to check children’s books regularly, parents should provide feedback to schools on pupils performance, work with publishing houses to produce more reading materials especially supplementary readers, build libraries in each district.
Childhood and Literacy , Languages arts(Elementary)-Monze,Zambia , Reading(Elementary)