Averting Learner Absenteeism in Zambian Urban and Rural Primary Schools: A Case of Kalingalinga and Simweendengwe Primary Schools
Keywords: Absenteeism, academic performance, Primary schools
AbstractThe study investigated the causes of learner absenteeism, the impact it has on academic performance and ways of averting learner absenteeism. The study used a mixed design which involved the use of questionnaires to obtain information from the teachers, and school administrators, research interview guides for the parents and focus group discussions for the learners from Kalingalinga and Simweendengwe primary schools and their catchment area respectively. The research population was composed of one hundred and twenty (120) respondents which included; fourty (40) education administrators and teachers, fourty (40) parents who were randomly selected and 40 learners who were purposefully selected. The data collected through questionnaires was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and the focus group discussions data was analysed thematically. The findings established that the leading cause to learner absenteeism were home related factors. The study further established that the performance of learners who consistently abscond from school in academic terms was average and in extreme cases bad. The findings also established that Pupil, Parent Teacher engagement is the best methods to use if absenteeism is to be addressed. From the findings, it was established that good policy support would enhance efficiency if learner absenteeism was to be addressed by teachers and educational administrators.