Subsidised education, enrolment and completion rate in Zambian primary schools, opportunities and challenges in Kitwe district
Judith Nakamba, Dr. William Phiri, Esau Mbewe
The study investigated opportunities and challenges of free primary education and enrolment in Zambian schools of Kitwe District. The study targeted fifty five public primary schools in Kitwe district of which twenty (20) primary schools and the DEBSí office were sampled. The study used both the quantitative and qualitative approaches to collect data by using questionnaire and interview schedules. Quantitative data was analyzed using STATA while thematic analysis was employed in analyzing qualitative data. The findings of the study revealed that free education presented both opportunities and challenges on the levels of enrolment in primary schools. The findings established that enrolment was generally high as a result of government policy to subsidize primary education. The study further posted a positive correlation between free education completion rates in primary schools. However, there were alleged questions on the quality of education being provided and inadequate funding from government which resulted into poor and inadequate teaching and learning material provision. Therefore, it emerged from the study that government should increase funding to primary schools and disbursed the funds in good time to allow management from such schools to plan adequately and provide quality education. Another recommendation among others is that government should increase infrastructure such as classrooms, build more schools and employ more teachers to ease the problem of over enrolment.