Academic performance of re-admitted girls before and after pregnancy in selected secondary schools of Lusaka district,Zambia

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Mwanamwambwa, Patricia
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The University of Zambia
This study intended to establish the academic performance of the re-admitted girls before and after re-admission in selected secondary schools of Lusaka District. The objectives of the study were: To establish the difference in academic performance of re-admitted girls before and after being pregnant, explore challenges faced by the re-admitted girls academically and to assess the attitude of these girls towards school work. The study used a qualitative approach with the target population that consisted of 4 government high schools of Lusaka District. The sample size of this study comprised 48 participants from 4 selected secondary schools in Lusaka District: 4 head teachers, 4 parents/guardians/parents teachers association (PTA) members, 8 Guidance and Counselling teachers, 12 class teachers and 20 re-admitted girls after pregnancy. The four schools in Lusaka district were selected conveniently while the head-teachers, and the guidance and counselling teachers and the re-admitted girls from each school were selected purposively. The research instruments used were structured interview guides, in-depth interviews and document analysis. Finally techniques from quantitative research design were used to generate and present table forms. The academic performance for the re-admitted girls was found to be declining from good to bad and for those who had a bad performance already it got worse after pregnancy. This was echoed by Guidance and Counseling Teachers and subject teachers who reported that re-admitted girls’ academic performance was adversely affected challenges faced in the education of the re-admitted mothers included stigmatization, loss of friends, lack of enough time to study, teasing by fellow pupils, using bad remarks against them, scorning and harsh treatment, lack of support from some parents who did not support the re-entry policy and society which labeled such girls as immoral. Finally the study established that despite these challenges and the poor academic performance, the re-admitted girls were committed to school and stayed determined to avoid the past mistake and get educated so that their families and children would not suffer and recommend that the Ministry of General Education should consider building separate schools for girls who have been pregnant so that they learn in an environment where they are only girls of their kind (teen mothers). Keywords: Re-admitted, academic performance, attitude.
Academic performance--Re-admitted girls--Zambia