Investigation of Democratic Practices in School Governance in Selected Secondary Schools in Lusaka District,Zambia

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Moonga, Sepoh
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University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to find out if there were democratic practices in secondary school governance following the introduction of Civic Education as a subject in the sampled secondary schools. The study sampled head teachers, teachers and pupils’ experiences of democracy and their participation in relation to everyday school life. The study assessed democratic practices as exhibited by school management and administration, determined democratic structures present and operating in secondary schools and examined the flexibility of school management and administration in creating an enabling environment for stakeholders’ participation in secondary school governance. The research was conducted in Lusaka district Zambia. This was a qualitative study that used interviews and focus group discussion, and employed a descriptive survey study research design. Six secondary schools were randomly selected. Using purposive sampling techniques, 6 head teachers were purposively sampled from the selected schools for interviews, 18 teachers and 36 pupils from the 6 schools were sampled for focus group discussions. The study revealed that democratic practices in the management and administration of secondary schools in Zambia existed. The study further revealed that various stakeholders participated in making decisions concerning school governance. The democratic structures and practices that were found in the schools included; staff meetings, PTA committee meetings, Management Board meetings, Prefects body and class monitors. Teachers and pupils agreed that since the introduction of Civic Education in their school, stakeholder participation improved. The study, however, also revealed that some stakeholders believed that there was room for improvement in participation of pupils and teachers in school governance. Where participation was low, it was mainly attributed to individual school managers, factors such as lower academic qualification of the head teacher compared to qualifications of teachers. The study recommends clear policies from Ministry of General Education to reinforce increased pupil and teacher participation in school governance. The other recommendation was that the Ministry of General Education should monitor the existence and functioning of democratic structures in schools. The Ministry of General Education and its cooperating partners should aid and encourage further studies on democratic governance in schools. Studies on how democratic governance could be integrated in the curriculum at primary school level and the possibility of making the head teacher position elective could greatly enhance democratic governance in secondary schools.
Master of Education in Civic Education
Educational change--Zambia , School management and organization--Lusaka District