Factors contributing to poor performance of learners in commerce at grade twelve examinations in public secondary schools in Lusaka district, Zambia.

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Mwansa, Elizabeth
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The University of Zambia
Grade twelve (12) learners in most public Secondary Schools in Lusaka District of Zambia continue to perform poorly in Commerce final examination. The purpose of the study was to establish the factors contributing to poor performance in Commerce at grade twelve examinations in public Secondary Schools in Lusaka District. The main research question was: What are the factors contributing to poor performance in Commerce? Concurrent embedded method was used in this study. The study involved fifteen public Secondary Schools with five teachers from each School, and Head teacher or Head of Department. The data was collected using interviews and document review. The analysis consisted of thematic network analysis for qualitative data while descriptive statistics using excel was used to analyse quantitative data. In our findings, a number of factors account for poor performance in commerce in the fifteen selected public Secondary Schools were: absenteeism of learners, poor reading culture among learners, unfavourable examination structure for commerce, bulkiness of the Commerce Syllabus, over enrolment, poor learning environment and lack of teaching-learning resources in schools among others. In this study, it was further argued that the trend of poor performance in commerce at grade twelve levels was not only confined to Lusaka District, but was a common phenomenon even in other parts of Zambia. Therefore, the study recommended that all stakeholders in the provision of education must play their roles to overcome the crises of poor performance at Grade twelve and this trend is also reflected in the sister subject, Principles of Accounts. I therefore, recommend that the Ministry of General Education through Curriculum Development Centre and Zambia Education Libraries should ensure that schools are provided with adequate teaching and learning materials especially textbooks and teaching aids. I further recommend that the government should ensure that more classes are built for the decongestion of classes so that the total enrolment tallies with the infrastructure. Schools should come up with better approaches of collaborating with parents or guardians so that they discuss how to deal with absenteeism.
Commerce education. , Business education--Zambia--Periodicals.