A study on the attitudes of African parents in Masvingo District towards educational changes into Zimbabwe’s schools since independence
Mushoriwa, Taruvinga Dambson
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This article presents results of a research on the attitudes of African parents in Masvingo District towards educational changes introduced into Zimbabwe’s secondary schools since independence, with the ultimate aim of identifying areas that are felt to need improvement. The study covered the period from 1995 to 1996. The sample (N=600), which ranged over a wide area of the district, was considered representative of the views of the district population at large. The research design, because of the nature of the topic, was of a survey type. Data collection methods included Likert-type questionnaire, supplemented by interviews. The data were analysed using the Likert Scale analysis procedures which are described in this article. Thus, the research methodology used approaches similar to those of other attitudinal studies elsewhere, notably Clignet and Foster (1966) in the then Ivory Coast. Overall, the study established that the majority of the respondents were in favour of the current education system. About seventy-two percent of the respondents felt that the secondary school education system has changed for the better. Mass education, the establishment of many secondary schools, the automatic promotion of pupils into secondary schools, Education With Production, equal emphasis of practical and academic subjects, and education for self-reliance were approved of. There was almost a similar number of respondents on the introduction of Zim-Science, with 48.3% of the respondents showing a favourable attitude towards the introduction and 51.7%> showing an unfavourable attitude. The attempt to localise examinations was not approved of by the majority of parents. Those interviewed expressed the view that this might lower academic standards.