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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


SIMWELEBA, Never H.  and  SERPELL, Robert. Parental involvement and learners' performance in rural basic schools of Zambia. SAJCE [online]. 2020, vol.10, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2223-7682.

BACKGROUND: Parental involvement is one of the important factors in pupils' academic achievement. AIM: The study sought to assess whether an intervention to enhance the interaction of parents with Grade 4 learners (aged 10-15 years) in homework would improve the learners performance in Chitonga and Mathematics. SETTING: This study was conducted with two rural primary schools in the Kalomo District of Southern Province, Zambia. METHODS: The participants were Grade 4 learners and their parents. A total of 168 participants were enlisted (84 learners and 84 parents). Elementary tests in Mathematics and Chitonga, the quality of parent-child interaction in homework, the quality and frequency of parent-school communication in homework, and the use of home resources in the instruction of children to increase Chitonga and Mathematics skills were assessed. One school served as a control while the other was the target of intervention. Parents in the intervention group received a 10-week programme of sensitisation on how to support their children in homework using available local resources and on parent-child interactions. Questionnaires and interviews were sent to collect data from parents while tests in Mathematics and Chitonga, systematically developed by the national regulatory body, were set to assess the learners' performance. RESULTS: Post-test scores of learners in Mathematics and Chitonga in the intervention school were significantly higher, in addition to increased parent-child interaction and the use of home resources in instruction. CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that interventions which empower parents with knowledge and skills for greater involvement in their children's homework can be effective in improving the learners' performance.

Keywords : rural communities; parental involvement; academic performance; homework; home-school communication; home learning resources; parent-child interaction.

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