Factors contributing to poor performance in icibemba examinations at grade twelve level on the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

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Lombe, Precious
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The University of Zambia
Statistics which were collected from the Examinations Council of Zambia from 2015 to 2017 showed that Copperbelt has had the lowest performance at grade twelve level in Icibemba examinations. This study therefore sought to find out the factors contributing to poor performance in Icibemba at grade twelve level on the Copperbelt province. The objectives of the study were to; assess selected current grade twelve learners‘ performance in Icibemba using a test; Examine how the teaching and learning of Icibemba is conducted in class; Find out the attitudes of administrators, teachers and pupils to the subjects; ascertain the challenges that teachers and learners go through in the teaching and learning of Icibemba at grade twelve level and Establish the qualifications of teachers of Icibemba. The study used embedded mixed design. Data was collected using lesson observations checklist, focus group discussion guides, semi-structured interview guides, document analysis and a test. Six schools were purposively selected from the three districts on the Copperbelt. Under qualitative research method, 18 teachers of Icibemba and 6 Heads of Languages Department from each of the six schools were purposively selected for interviews. Focus group discussions were conducted to 120 pupils. 20 pupils were randomly picked from each school, and one lesson was observed from each of the six schools. Under Quantitative research method, a test was administered to pupils and marked. Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data and Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS software to get the percentages, frequency, mean and standard deviation. The study established that there was negative attitude towards the teaching and learning of Icibemba among pupils, teachers, administrators and parents, and to some extent. Inadequate appropriate teaching and learning resources for Icibemba. Teachers teaching Icibemba were also found to be unqualified to teach senior grades as most of them still had diplomas in Zambian languages, while some teachers lacked the experience to handle senior grades. Language also proved to be a barrier. It was also observed that the Bemba used on the Copperbelt was a mixture of languages which made it different from the standard Bemba found in textbooks. Time allocated for Icibemba was also not enough to cover the syllabus at senior level. Zambian languages teachers also lacked motivation in terms of promotions and career development due to lack of capacity building workshops. Based on the above findings, there is need to positively change the attitude towards the learning and teaching of Zambian languages, train teachers in linguistics and African Languages for them to qualify to teach senior grades. School administrators and the ministry of education should procure enough textbooks and literature course books for Icibemba to enhance the teaching and learning of the subject. Key words: Factors, pupils‟ performance, grade twelve learners, Icibemba and Copperbelt
Factors-- pupils‟ performance--Teaching--Bemba--Zambia , Teaching--Methods--Local language--Zambia , Study and teaching--Methods--Bemba--Zambia