Defilement of girls in selected primary and secondary schools in Lusaka Province: implications for guidance and counselling

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Chirwa, Beatrice
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to explore the prevalence of defilement of girls in selected primary and secondary schools in Chongwe, Kafue and Lusaka districts, of Lusaka province and its implications for guidance and counselling in schools. The objectives of the study were to establish the knowledge base of the pupils, head teachers, school guidance and counselling teachers, parents and community leaders about defilement; ascertain implications for guidance and counselling on defiled girls; assess the guidance and counselling support services provided to victims of defilement; and establish the awareness programmes available at school, family and community levels aimed at empowering children with child-defilement preventive skills in primary and secondary schools in Lusaka province. A descriptive design survey was used to conduct this study. Purposive sampling was used to select the sample. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaire (contains both open-ended and closed ended questions) , and semi-structured interview guides to a total sample of 156 respondents consisting of 90 pupils, 45 parents, 9 guidance and counselling teachers, 9 head teachers, 3 officials from FAWEZA, WLSA and YWCA, and 3 community leaders from Chongwe, Kafue and Lusaka districts. Data was analysed quantitatively and thematically. The findings of the study revealed that respondents were aware of the prevalence of defilement mainly through the media. The study has shown that defilement has impacted negatively on the girls as it affected them mentally, socially resulting into poor academic performance. This aspect required the attention of guidance and counselling services which are seemingly lacking in schools. In terms of support services girls who were defiled received counselling services in their respective schools and communities. It was also noted that awareness programmes did not exist at primary and secondary schools, family, and community levels. Basing on the study findings, the following were recommended: the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education should through school administrators engage itself in continuous vigorous educational awareness campaigns on child defilement; schools should ensure that the guidance and counselling teachers uphold confidentiality as victims need teachers who honour confidentiality - this would allow more girls to freely report cases of defilement to the appropriate authorities; and that the government through its appropriate organs should stiffen the law pertaining to child defilement in order to deter offenders.
Counselling--Girls--Middle school education--Zambia , Counselling--Girls--Secondary education--Zambia , Counselling in middle school education--Zambia , Counselling in secondary education--Zambia