An assessment of internal efficiency indicators in selected secondary schools in Mongu district, Zambia

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Namuchana, Maimbolwa
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The University of Zambia
The present study sought to assess the internal efficiency indicators in selected secondary schools in Mongu district. This was done through the analysis of the districts dropout, transition and repetition rates to determine how efficient the education system was. The objectives of the study were anchored on understanding the nature of secondary school dropouts, transition and repetition trends in Mongu district. Additionally, the study also sought to propose measures on what should be done to scale up transition rates, reduce dropout and repeater rates as a way of improving educational opportunities for pupils. The study was guided by the Human Capital theory of Theodore Schultz and the Marginal Production Theory founded in the 19th century by the economists John Bates Clark and Philip Henry Wicksteed. This research employed a concurrent mixed method design that involved combining qualitative and quantitative research. In qualitative perspectives, interview guides were central, while the usage of questionnaires was key in the empirical quantitative investigation. Purposive and simple random sampling was used to select interviewees and respondents respectively. The sample size was 232 participants who included; ninety (90) teachers and one hundred and twenty-two (122) pupils that responded to the questionnaire. In addition, key informant interviews included 6 (six) Headteachers, 3 (three) planners, one (1) DEBS and ten (10) dropouts. Finally, the qualitative data was analysed according to emerging themes, while the quantitative data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics in which factor analysis was employed. This study established that pregnancy, financial challenges and truancy were the major reasons for explaining the nature of school dropouts among pupils in Mongu district. Pregnancy emerged as the single most influential factor accounting for dropping out amongst girls and financial challenges mostly among the boys. On transition trends, the findings revealed that there were generally significant transition improvements in grant-aided schools for the period 2012-2017 but stagnating rates in government schools. To scale up transition rates, reduce dropout and repeater rates in the secondary school system, various recommendations such as the introduction of financial support, intensifying sexuality education, school infrastructure development and reinforcing teacher continuous professional development emerged as prominent measures to make education more efficient. Lastly, the study among others recommended that government work on ensuring uniformity in policy implementation in all types of schools, government and grant-aided schools alike, through the intensification of monitoring and supervision. Most especially in government schools to reduce teachers’ and pupils’ laisser-faire kind of attitudes and avoid big class sizes by building or opening more secondary schools. This would improve the quality of education in schools.
High school dropout--Government policy--Zambia , Education, Secondary--Government policy --Zambia , Educational change--Government policy--Zambia