Homework policy implementation in selected primary schools of Kalabo district in western province of Zambia: prospects and challenges.

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Mwanamwambwa, Violet
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The University of Zambia
This study explored homework policy implementation in selected primary schools of Kalabo District in Western Province of Zambia with particular focus on prospects and challenges. The study utilised social constructivism theory by Levy Vygotsky 1978. The objectives were; to explore teacher’s experiences on the homework policy implementation, to ascertain the perceptions of parents towards homework policy, to assess the prospects of giving homework to pupils and to establish the challenges pupils and parents encountered when given homework. The study used a qualitative approach with the target population that consisted of three government primary schools in Kalabo district. The sample size of this study comprised of three teachers, nine parents/ guardians, and fifteen grade four learners, making a total of 27 participants from the three selected primary schools in Kalabo district. The three schools in the district were selected conveniently while the teachers, parents /guardians and pupils from each school were selected purposively. The research instruments used were semi-structured interview guide and focus group discussion guide. The study findings revealed that teachers’ experiences on homework policy implementation involved the following: giving homework at least twice in a week; positive parental response and involvement; negative parental response and involvement; and enhanced academic performance of learners, among other aspects. Parents perceived homework in many ways, for example, some of them perceived homework as school work given to learners in order to keep them busy at home. Prospects of providing homework to learners at selected primary schools were that: homework provided learners with an opportunity to improve the academic performance, it opened up the minds of learners to interact with friends to arouse the interest of learners, and they learnt how to manage their time and kept them in constant touch with school work. This was echoed by subject teachers. On the other hand, teachers reported that parents did not regularly check their children’s homework because they were busy with work, farming and doing business which depicted a negative response towards their children’s homework. Learners and parents encountered a number of challenges as they worked on homework given by teachers. Some parents did not want to help their children in answering their homework because they believed it was the role of the teachers to do so and not parents. Finally, the study established that despite these challenges learning through homework proved that teachers were engaging parents in the education of their children so that they could help them learn from what they knew in their environment. In view of the above findings, the study recommended that teachers should ensure that they give homework to learners which is manageable so that they finish on time and parents should help their children with homework by creating enough time for them. Key words: Homework policy, implementation, prospects.
Homework policy implementation. , Homework policy.