An assessment of the effectiveness of parent-teacher associations (PTAs) in carrying out their roles: a case of four secondary schools in Chilanga district, Zambia.

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Kabulo, Samuel
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The University of Zambia
This study was an attempt to assess the role PTAs played in the development of education in Zambia, using qualitative research methodologies. Two interview guides were used in data collection and sampling was based on two research techniques, purposive and random. St. Maurice, City of Hope, Bayuni and Parklands Secondary Schools in Chilanga District were selected as a case study. In assessing the functions and activities of the PTAs at these schools, two main sources of data were used, namely, secondary (desk research) and primary data. For this purpose, a total sample of 50 respondents was selected, comprising parents, teachers, school administrators, pupils and DEBs officials. The study was guided by the community involvement theory, which placed premium on the role of parents and the community in the education of children. The data collected was analyzed using the tally sheets and thematic content analysis. The findings of the study revealed that the PTAs played an important role in the education of pupils at the four schools studied. The study also revealed that in carrying out their roles, PTAs faced many challenges. These included low levels of parental involvement in the affairs of the PTAs, low levels of parental, pupil and teacher interaction and communication, operating on insufficient funds and suspicions of lack of accountability and transparency in the use of available funds. The study concluded that the effectiveness of the PTAs at the four schools involved differed from one school to another. Largely, it depended on the composition of the PTA, information viability and the approachability of the school administration. The study made a number of recommendations; these included the need for PTAs to improve on parental, pupil and school interaction and communication, employing qualified accountants to oversee the collected funds, improving on the sources of funds and incorporating in PTA structures, people with genuine interest in education matters.
Parents' and teachers' associations.