A study on the effectiveness in the implementation of the re-entry policy revised guidelines and the ban on corporal punishment in selected secondary schools in Chongwe And Lusaka districts

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Phiri, Mwazanji
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University of Zambia
The government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) put in place policies and strategies aimed at protecting children’s rights to education. This study endeavoured to establish the effectiveness of the implementation of the Re-entry Policy using the 2012 revised guidelines and the ban on corporal punishment in selected secondary schools in Chongwe and Lusaka districts. The study was descriptive in nature and largely used qualitative methods for data collection. The collection of data involved a variety of primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected from six (6) head teachers, twenty four (24) teachers, one hundred and eight (108) pupils, thirty six (36) parents from seven (7) secondary schools in Chongwe and Lusaka districts of Lusaka province and six (6) Ministry of General Education (MoGE) officials. Secondary data was collected from literature involving journals, organizational reports and the government of Zambia policy statements. The study findings were that the two measures were ineffective in their implementation which caused them not to meet their intended objectives. On the Re-entry policy, there was lack of awareness of the 2012 revised guidelines and knowledge of the contents to facilitate awareness raising among the pupils, teachers and communities which hindered its implementation. Secondly, despite there being a designated guidance and counseling unit in schools to implement the policy, the Re-entry policy was not given priority and was only considered when a girl fell pregnant. The also study found that the teachers had other competing priorities such as teaching hence did not have enough time to focus on the policy. The effectiveness of the Re-entry policy was further hampered by the lack of proper tracking of cohorts at school level to ensure that all girls in that cohort re-entered school, stigmatisation of the re-entered girls, lack of child care facilities, preference by guardians to marry off their daughters and revoking of scholarships for such pupils. On the ban on corporal punishment, the study findings revealed that corporal punishment was still being administered in schools, as this was confirmed by both pupils, teachers and parents. The situation was worsened by the fact that there were no guidelines available for schools on alternative disciplinary measures for pupils apart from circulars that were periodically written to schools. The study therefore, recommended that MoGE disseminates both the Re-entry policy revised guidelines and in the case of corporal punishment, firstly develop guidelines on alternative disciplinary measures. There should be a deliberate programme to ensure that teachers, pupils and parents are knowledgeable of the contents for both. In addition, MoGE should develop a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation at school, district, provincial and national levels of both measures and remedial actions made timely.
corporal punishment--Zambia , Teanage pregnancy--Government policy--Zambia , Teanage mothers--Education--Government policy--Zambia , Dropouts--Education--Government policy--Zambia