Analysis of Trends on school Enrollment and Dropouts among Pupils in rural and Urban Areas: A Case study of Kabwe, Zambia
Many countries in the developing world have embraced the global efforts at promoting education for young people because of the perceived benefits of education to the national economy. In Zambia, Free basic education and the Education For all program has been introduced in order to promote education of young people especially girls. However, Zambia is still experiencing challenges of school dropouts among young people especially in rural areas. The purpose of this study was to determine the trends of school dropouts among pupils in rural and urban areas, focusing particularly on Kabwe Central Province of Zambia. A total number of 172 subjects were surveyed regarding their opinions over the problem of school dropouts. Primary data from questionnaires was collected and analyzed using thematic analysis and secondary data was analyzed through percentages, graphs and tables using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). A comparative analysis of the trends of school dropouts for rural and urban areas showed that the school dropout rate for rural areas reduced by 56% during the period from 2014 to 2018. However, school dropout rates for urban areas increased by 25%during the same period. A thematic analysis of the young people’s responses indicated that the leading causes of school dropout in urban areas include lack of money to pay school fees (52%), teenage pregnancy and early marriages (23%), peer pressure (23%), and drug abuse (5%). In rural areas, the main causes of school dropout are Lack of money for school fees (42%), teenage pregnancy and early marriages (33%), peer pressure (15%), and distance from home to school (5%).The policy implications of these results are discussed and recommendations provided.