Management of educational materials in selected basic schools of Monngu district, Zambia

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Kalumiana, Inutu Akushanga
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Over the recent years, there have been concerns among Zambians with regard to the quality of education in Zambia with a general feeling that it is declining. One of the factors that contributes to quality in education is the availability of adequate Educational Materials (EMs). However, in spite of financial resources, policies and strategies put by the Ministry of Education, basic schools were still experiencing critical shortages of teaching and learning materials. The question to ask is how adequate Educational Materials can be made available to basic schools. This study therefore, investigated factors that would improve the management of Educational Materials in selected basic schools of Mongu District in Zambia by way of establishing: (i) if the Ministry of Education was procuring sufficient EMs, (ii) whether the EMs procured got to the schools, (iii) key management issues that affected the provision of EMs to basic schools and (iv) to establish the extent to which basic schools implemented the policy on EMs.The study used a survey design involving questionnaires and interview techniques to obtain information. A sample totaling 251 respondents was selected using random and purposive sampling. As the survey combined quantitative and qualitative methods, the quantitative data was analysed using a Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) while that for qualitative data was analysed by coding and grouping similar themes together. The study found that Educational Materials were still not adequate in most basic schools surveyed. The textbook to pupil ratio was still above 1:3 in core subjects like Mathematics and Environmental Science instead of the recommended ratio of 1:2. Following the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made in order to improve the management of EMs in Basic Schools: (a)Funding for the education sector in general and basic education in particular should be increased; (b) There is need to improve the storage of educational materials to increase their life span; (c) There is need to continue with central procurement of highly specialized requisites like laboratory equipment as most basic schools had no capacity to procure these on their own; (d) The Ministry of Education should constantly evaluate its policies to ensure that they are being implemented on the ground; (e) The replenishment of Educational Materials should be made when need arises and not after 5 years as per the prevailing policy at the time of writing this report in the year 2007; (f) There was need for the Ministry to ensure that all key educational personnel clearly understood the existing policies so as to achieve successful implementation of such policies.
Education -- Mongu--Education -- Mongu , Materials -- Mongu--Materials -- Mongu , Management , Basic education