Vol. 2, Issue 8 (2015)
Teachers’ Perceptions towards Physical Education as an Academic Subject in Zambia’s Primary Schools: A Case Study of Kombaniya Primary School, Mansa District
Author(s): Grace Shimishi, Daniel Ndhlovu
Abstract: This article is an extract of one of the objectives from the dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of the Degree of Master of Education in Primary Education at the University of Zambia. The drive for this study emanated from the fact that recognition of practical subjects in the Zambian Primary School Curriculum by the Government had made all primary schools to offer Physical Education (PE) compulsory as a pillar to foster educational, health and personal development of learners, (MOESVTEE, 2013). Despite the Government’s directive of ensuring that the teaching of PE in Zambian primary schools is made mandatory, PE has not been recognized as one of the core subjects (Mutiti, 2011) . An unanswered question was, how do teachers perceive PE as a teaching subject in primary schools? This study was therefore, undertaken to ascertain teachers’ perceptions of PE as an academic subject in primary schools, Mansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia.rnA case study design adopting a qualitative approach was employed. Data was gathered through focus group discussions (for the learners), semi-structured interviews (for teachers and administrators) and lesson observations. The sample comprised of 49 participants. Purposive sampling and simple random sampling procedures were used to select respondents. Thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. The study found that despite having PE as a compulsory subject in school, teachers had a negative view about it. The subject was neglected, looked down upon, regarded as time for learners to play and have fun. Some teachers and administrators saw the subject as play or sport that took time away from academic subjects. rnBased on the study findings, the study concluded that the perception of teachers towards PE as a subject was negative. Teachers and school administrators saw PE as sports and a subject that took time away from learners’ academic subjects. On the basis of the findings, the study recommended that the Ministry in charge of education should monitor and ensure that PE and other practical subjects are taught in Zambia’s primary schools.