An Assessment of the Nature and Extent of Partnerships between Schools,Communities and other Stakeholders: a case of Chingola District,Zambia

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Chileshe, Roydah Kubombela
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The purpose of the study was to assess the nature and extent of partnerships between schools,communities and other stakeholders in educational provision in Chingola District of Zambia.The study employed a case study design. This design was found to be suitable because the study aimed at collecting information from the respondents on their attitudes and opinions as regards the policy on partnership.The target population for the study was all basic and high schools run by the government. The sample size comprised 10 head teachers, 40 teachers, 30 parents, 10 PTA members, 3 board executive members, and 10 community members. The data were analysed qualitatively and descriptive approaches were employed. Complementary quantitative data were analysed manually.The study revealed that nearly all the headteachers, teachers, PTA executive members and education board members acknowledged having an understanding of the policy on partnership in education. However, some parents and community members expressed ignorance of knowledge of the existence of the policy on partnership. As regards formulation of a local policy on partnership in education, the findings of the study revealed that out of the ten schools under study, only 4 had devised a local policy on partnership. The roles played by the school in enhancing partnership in education included: information dissemination, infrastructure development, participation in community meetings; provision of leadership skills, provision of professional advice, participation in the provision of education to the community, and provision of school facilities to the communities. As regards maintenance of discipline, parents revealed that it was their responsibility to advise their children. They agreed that the disciplining of their children must start from home before they start school.Erratic water supply in schools and communities contributed to poor performance of the pupils.Pupils and teachers spent hours drawing water which made them report to school late. Negative attitude towards education by most parents was also reported as one of the biggest challenges that the schools faced. The study revealed that some parents had negative attitude towards education because from time immemorial, they had been surviving without education.Homework policy was not enhanced by the communities. The communities felt that when pupils knocked off from school they must concentrate on helping them with household chores and their businesses. Other stakeholders, who were responsible for assisting the schools in the provision of education in Chingola district, were Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) who were assisting 10 and 5 schools respectively.
Education--parent participation--Zambia , Education(partnerships)--Zambia