COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS: ANALYSING FACTORS ACCOUNTING FOR DIFFERENT O’ LEVEL ACADEMIC ATTAINMENT TRENDSHARARE (2005-2010)
Educational reforms introduced at Zimbabwe’s attainment of independence resulted in the emergence of two types of schools: those established prior to attainment of independence and those established after. Ever since, there has been a common trend in the results from the two types of schools. The trend has been that the learners in schools established after attainment of independence have been and are still performing poorly when compared to those in schools established prior to attainment of independence despite the fact that they were and are still controlled by the same government and responsible authorities; they follow the same curriculum; get teachers from the same institutions; and come from similar backgrounds and environments. This prompted the primary researcher, who shall herein be referred to as the researcher, to carry out an analysis of the factors accounting for the different academic attainment trends by O’ level learners in the two types of schools in high density areas of Harare including Chitungwiza. The research was based on O’ level examination results for the period between the year 2005 and 2010. The research paradigm was quantitative and the design was a survey carried out in nine schools established prior to attainment of independence and ten schools established after attainment of independence. The major research instruments were questionnaires which the researcher administered in person. Presentation of data was done in form of statistical tables, graphs and pie charts. After respondent and factor analysis, major factors accounting for the different academic attainment trends established were as follows: Form one enrolment criteria; availability or unavailability of library and laboratory facilities in the schools; streaming of learners according to ability; extra lessons and vacation school; class sizes; parental support for children’s education. The researcher then made the following recommendations: That the stakeholders of the secondary schools established after attainment of independence should make some effort to complete construction of these schools; there is need to establish whether or not primary schools are producing results good enough at Grade seven to feed into the secondary school system; each school in the high density areas of Harare should have in place a library and laboratory; there is need for the ministry responsible for secondary education to seriously consider and implement the recommendations made by the Nziramasanga commission.
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