The influence of content and structure of secondary school textbooks on women's careers in the formal sector: case of selected schools in Lusaka.

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Banda, Vestina
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The study sought to examine the influence of content and structure of secondary school textbooks on women’s careers in the formal sector. The method used by the study was content analysis. The study sample consisted of 8 secondary school textbooks used in the country for instruction that is Literature in English, History, Religious Education and Civics. There was also review of relevant records and documents, interviews with personnel at the curriculum development center and teachers in the schools where the study took place and administration of questionnaires to secondary school students and teachers in purposively selected secondary schools in Lusaka namely Munali, kamwala, Rhodes park and lake road secondary schools. The objectives of the study were to provide a critical assessment of female images as portrayed in school textbooks used in Zambia secondary schools, to investigate whether these images of women in school textbooks reflect the real conditions as lived by Zambian women in the formal sector and to find out the manner in which content, subject offerings and structure of formal education discriminate against and marginalize women. The findings were analyzed using descriptive interpretations, frequency tables and percentile distribution. The study thus concluded that the issue of women’s subservient position is linked to the content and structure of secondary school textbooks through the reinforcement of a traditional socialization process that has long discriminated against women. For example, girls from young age are taught be housekeepers and boys to find work outside the home environment. The study came up with a number of recommendations and these included that the ministry of education re- define and re- orient the ideology and philosophy of the country’s national education. Re- writes those school textbooks which should be rewritten. Introduce gender issues and involve women experts in school curriculum development with the aim of initiating a process of gender neutral family socialization. Lastly teaching the people through the media that when capabilities of both men and women are put together more people can benefit.