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Investigating the Quality of Teaching in Primary Schools in Zambia and How it Affects Literacy Rates Among Learners: A Case Study of Three Primary Schools in Kasama District, Northern Province.

According to Zambia National Assessment Survey Report (2006), in Zambia, most of the pupils in primary schools are unable to read and write, they do not progress from one grade to another and the passing rates at grade 7 examinations is very poor. Therefore this piece of research was conducted in three primary schools of Kasama District of Zambia to identify the gaps in the in teaching in primary schools and how they affect literacy rates among learners. The findings might influence policy formulation that will bridge these gaps in primary schools and might also stimulate discussion on the planning of the MDGs post 2015 at country, district and local level on quality primary teaching and literacy rates. Also, the findings and recommendations of this research might be integrated into the school curriculum that would influence teaching practice within the primary school systems in Zambia and ultimately enhance the quality of teaching and literacy levels among learners.

Questions addressed in this research are: Does the quality of primary school teaching contribute to literacy rates among learners? How does the teaching aids/learning affect learning ability and literacy levels among learners in primary schools? How does locally developed primary policy impact on the learning ability and literacy rates among learners in primary schools? This was a case study approach employing qualitative methodology based on non probability sampling. Semi structure interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data from 15 respondents and 12 participants. And these were school administrators, teachers, parents and learners.

The research results revealed that the quality of teaching in primary schools in Zambia was bad characterised by inadequate staffing, lack of teaching and learning materials, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate preparation among some teachers, weak local school policies. All these gaps impact negatively on literacy development among learners. Therefore, the results suggest that more qualified and competent teachers be deployed in schools, more teaching and learning material for literacy and other subjects be procured and produced locally. Schools alongside communities to develop document and implement local policies that are directed towards enhancing the quality of teaching in primary schools in Zambia.

 

Kennedy Franshi (2013)

 

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