The Status of Religious Education in Selected High Schools in Kitwe Town

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Mulando, Evans C.
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This study set out to find out the status of Religious Education (RE) in eight (8) High Schools in Kitwe Town on the Copperbelt. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative strategies to explore and quantify respectively, answers to fundamental questions affecting the existence of RE as a curriculum subject in the eight High Schools. From the time missionaries introduced formal education in Zambia, RE has been one of the key subjects. It is one of the subjects on the curriculum in Zambia taught in basic schools, high schools, colleges of education and the University of Zambia. Two hundred and thirty five (235) questionnaires were administered to pupils, twenty two (22) to teachers and four (4) to Head teachers to complete. The findings showed that there was a shortage of qualified teachers in RE in the sampled high schools. From individual and group interviews, the study also found that there was a mixture of attitudes towards RE among pupils, head teachers, teachers and pupils. Overall, most pupils expressed interest in the subject, but they were not accorded the opportunity to take RE because their schools were offering it to a limited number of pupils due to shortage of teachers or due to RE teachers opting to teach other subject in which they are equally qualified. The recommendations made by this researcher are that head teachers should take a leading role in promoting the teaching of RE in schools. Furthermore, the two syllabi of 2044 and 2046 should be merged into one syllabus which should be more of religious literacy than Christian indoctrination; only trained teachers in RE should teach the subject; the subject should be treated like any other subject on the school time table; careers, guidance and placement teachers should help pupils understand the importance of the subject in relation to admission to Universities and the Ministry of Education (MoE) should provide enough RE teaching and learning materials to high schools to enhance the teaching of the subject. Overall, this study took the assumption that Zambia is not yet a secularised society. Therefore, most people think about the world in religious terms. Thus, RE has the potential of addressing Christian fundamentalism. By encouraging high school pupils to take religious education, Zambia's future will be assured of a tolerant, moral and educated society.
Religious Education--Study and Teaching--Kitwe--Zambia , Religious Education--teacher training--Kitwe--Zambia