PERCEPTIONS OF NON-CHRISTIAN LEARNERS, PARENTS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN NDOLA DISRICT OF ZAMBIA
Keywords: Religious Education, Multi-faith, Attitude, Perception, Religion, Christianity, Non-Christian
AbstractThe study mainly investigated the perceptions of non-Christian learners, parents and religious leaders on multi-faith Religious Education (RE) in Zambia, focusing on selected secondary schools in Ndola district. It thus aimed at finding out the perceptions of non-Christian learners, parents and non-Christian religious leaders on secondary school RE. Being qualitative in nature, the study employed qualitative approaches, which are appropriate for studying people’s attitudes, perceptions, views, opinions and feelings. This qualitative approach involved the use of interviews and focus group discussions with non-Christian learners, parents and religious leaders; it also involved some relevant document analysis. The findings of the study showed that the non-Christian pupils, parents and non-Christian religious leaders perceived the senior secondary school RE syllabuses 2044 and 2046 as being more of Christian Education than multi-faith RE as most of the topics in the syllabuses were about Christianity while their religious traditions were not adequately and correctly represented. Additionally, there were no teaching and learning materials for the non-Christian religions to facilitate proper teaching and learning. The study therefore recommended that the Zambian secondary school RE syllabuses should be revised so that they become more inclusive in nature and content, thereby representing all stakeholders fully. In doing so, the leaders of the different religious traditions covered in RE should be consulted and involved in providing or producing relevant teaching and learning materials. The non-Christian religious leaders should be proactive in lobbying the Ministry of general Education to make Zambian RE more inclusive of their religions. Furthermore, teachers of RE should be sensitized to become more resourceful in finding relevant teaching and learning materials for topics involving non-Christian religions.