Secondary school science departments' use of examinations council of Zambia examiners' reports in Solwezi district

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Mulawo, Clement
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Performance in science subjects in North-western Province has been persistently poor for the last decade or so. This study sought to investigate secondary school science departments’ use of the Examinations Council of Zambia examiners’ reports in Solwezi district. The study also intended to find out science teachers’ pedagogical skills in the light of poor performance in science subjects in Solwezi district. The study employed a mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection. The study sample consisted of 89 subjects drawn from seven secondary schools. Qualitative data was generated from observing ten science lessons and interviewing 13science teachers, five science heads of department and three standards officers who were the key informants for the study. Furthermore, Grade 12ECZ science results documents for the last five years were reviewed. Qualitative data sets were analyzed through coding of emerging themes. The quantitative data, on the other hand, were collected by using questionnaires and these were distributed to five school administrators, five guidance and counseling teachers, five heads of department and 42 science teachers. Quantitative data sets were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate frequencies, graphs and other statistics. Both data sets from qualitative and quantitative methods supported answers to research questions. Results of the study revealed a number of concerns the first of which was related to the non-use of the ECZ science examiners’ reports in secondary schools to understand sources of poor learner performance in science. The second factor was related to lack of variations of teaching strategies that teachers apply during science lessons. Lastly, the study revealed that there was rampant systemic failure. Henceforth, the study recommended that urgent improvements in the system of educational delivery, including effective use of ECZ examiners’ reports in Solwezi district. In the same vein, the study recommended that schools must increase CPD meetings to improve the teachers’ pedagogical skills.
Academic performance--Science--Zambia , Science--Study and teaching--Zambia