Strategies of improving the performance of girls in mathematics at secondary school: a case of Lusaka district schools.

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Mulenga Nichol, Daka Harrison and Mulenga – Hagane Lydia Mukuka
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Global Scientific Journals.
In Zambia it has generally been accepted that good performance in mathematics has become a prerequisite for one entry into tertiary education regardless of one’s sex. In a bid to find themselves places in colleges and universities, many more girls are victim of rejection because of poor grades in mathematics compared to boys. The study looked on strategies of improving the performance of girls in Mathematics at secondary school. The study adopted a descriptive design Approach, which will employ research methods, questionnaires and interviews. The target population comprised learners, mathematics teachers, Heads of Department and School managers at secondary level. Probability sampling techniques were used to select pupils and teachers from Secondary Schools. The total study sample was 50. Two instruments were used for data collection in the study: the questionnaire and interviews. Qualitative data were collected and analyzed on an on-going process as themes and sub-themes that emerged through thematic analysis. The findings showed that quality of instruction, teacher motivation, teacher qualification, learners’ attitude, low parental involvement had bearing on girls’ poor academic performance in mathematics. Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that, the barriers to improving learning outcomes in Zambia are many and cut across both the demand and supply side, and interact across the school, district, provincial and national levels. The study recommended that parents should get involved in pupil’s education in order to help monitor children’s performance through homework as well as monitoring the time spent on social media and other vices. With regard to parental support to girls ‘mathematics education, the study established that many parents believe that girls were poor performers in mathematics hence they do not help them. In order to improve teaching and learning practices secondary school, the study recommends that the school management sensitize mathematics teachers not to be gender biased in their lessons by involving both boys and girls equally in mathematics lessons. Secondary School mathematics teachers need to present to girls’ scientific theories that suggest that mathematics performance is the result of experience and not genetics as well as guidance teachers ‘need to work in collaboration with teachers of mathematics and the school head teacher in secondary schools must provide girls with many efficacy-building experiences in mathematics.
Research Subject Categories::MATHEMATICS::Algebra, geometry and mathematical analysis , Research Subject Categories::MATHEMATICS::Algebra, geometry and mathematical analysis::Mathematical logic