INVOLVEMENT OF CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PROVISION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN THE VICARIATE OF RUNDU, NAMIBIA
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to assess the involvement of the Catholic Church in the provision of quality education in public secondary schools in the vicariate of Rundu, Namibia. This study was guided by four research questions; how is the church involved in the provision of quality education in the vicariate of Rundu? How effective is the church in providing quality education in public schools? What are the challenges facing the church concerning the provision of education in public secondary schools? What can be done for the church to actively contribute to the provision of quality education in public secondary schools in the vicariate of Rundu? The study was anchored on the Functional Structuralism theory.
Statement of the Problem: Although quality education is a global agenda all over the world, there has been an increasing concern about its provision in Namibian public schools. Specifically, Kavango regions have recorded the highest challenges. These are exhibited by poor academic achievement in secondary schools.
Research Methodology: This study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In quantitative the study adopted a cross-sectional survey design, while in qualitative it used phenomenological design. The target population was made up of, vicar general, secretary to bishops ‘conference, priests and sisters and catholic education coordinator, directors of education, inspectors of schools, principals, teachers and learners. Community representatives were parents/guardians and members of school boards. The study employed probability sampling and non-probability sampling procedures. In probability sampling, the study used simple random sampling and stratified random sampling and in non-probability sampling, purposive sampling and Snowball sampling techniques was used. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the ministry of education for data from schools and from the bishop of the Vicariate of Rundu to collect data in the missions. Data collection instruments used were questionnaires which contained both open-ended and closed-ended structured questions, interview guides, observation guides and document analysis guides. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive inferential statistics and reported in frequencies, percentages, tables, pie charts and bar graphs. SPSS package version (16) was used also. Qualitative data was arranged into themes and analysed using narratives and direct quotations from respondents. The participants were informed of their right to privacy and confidentiality and their freedom to participate or not or withdraw from the study at any time if they so wish.
Result: The findings revealed that the church in Rundu was not involved in the provision of education in public secondary schools in the region through policy formulation, planning and management, taking part in the employment processes, fencing of public secondary schools, resource provision, student discipline, building and management of hostels, building and equipping classrooms, building and equipping libraries and providing spiritual and moral guidance to students and teachers. The study also found that the the church was not effective in the provision of; good physical resources and other facilities in the schools, financial aid to schools, support to needy students, e.g school fees, spiritual and pastoral care to staff and students, moral and ethical values in schools, guidance and counselling to both students and the staff in general and good discipline in the schools.
Conclusion: Based on the findings the study concluded that the challenges faced by the church in Rundu in effort to provide quality education includes; lack of qualified personnel to work in public secondary schools, lack of clear direction on education apostolate, lack of interest among the bishops in supporting public secondary schools, lack of qualified priests and sisters to teach students and teachers in public secondary schools, lack of good will from the government to involve church in the schools management, lack of clear guidance on education apostolate, the church does not have enough personnel to work in schools and the challenges of discrimination and sexual harassment.
Recommendation: The study hence recommended that the ministry of education in Namibia should consider the church as a stakeholder in the education sector and involve the church in decision making in as far as the provision of qulity education in public secondary schools in the country is concerned.
Keywords: Involvement, Catholic Church, Provision, Quality Education, Public, Secondary Schools, Vicariate, Rundu, Namibia
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