Determinants of School choice in selected urban secondary schools in Zambia.

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Daka, Harrison
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Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
This research paper conceptualises the determinants of school choice by parents in selected secondary schools in urban Zambia. It empirically examines the extent school choice is determined by the following parameters: the school’s academic performance; parents’ socio-economic status; location of parents and moral and religious values of the schools. The rational choice and free market theories underpinned the conceptualisation of the determinants of school choice. Convergent parallel mixed-methods design was employed. The study was done in Lusaka district based on the fact that it is the most urbanised town in the country. The study used both simple random sampling and purposive sampling to select respondents. 120 parents responded to questionnaires, 8 parents were interviewed to crosscheck other parents’ responses in the questionnaires. Interviews were also used to generate data from 6 head-teachers and 1 key informant at District Education Office. Multiple and single regression analysis were used to establish the significance of the factors of school choice under investigation. Key among the findings that show a departure from global literature in the context of Zambia is that of moral and religious values which was rated second and most significant determinant of School choice. Equally, school academic performance is the biggest determining factor in parents’ school choice. In the third place was Parents’ socio-economic status. Location of parents was however established to be insignificant as a determinant of school choice. The paper recommends that government should work at issues that enhanced school academic performance and discipline in schools such as intensifying monitoring and supervision especially in public schools so as to increase preference for such schools, Therefore, the study recommends for future research on examination of determinants of school choice should focus on primary level in both rural and urban settings. Keywords: determinants, academic performance, moral and religious values, socio-economic status, school choice
Academic performance , Determinants of school choice. , School enrollment--Zambia. , Academic performance--School chice. , Academic performance--Parents school choice.