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The Delicate Dropping of Religious Studies at Ordinary Level by Students in High Density Urban Schools of Harare, Zimbabwe

Fungai Hamilton Mudzengerere, Edmore Mbokochena


ABSTRACT: With the new developments in technology worldwide, science subjects are dominating in the curricular and given special preference as compared to the arts subjects. This study examined some of the factors that influence pupils to drop Religious Studies at Ordinary Level in Harare Education Province in Zimbabwe. The research focused on aspects such as social problems, intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors on the student as well as the influence from the teachers and school authorities. Four schools were selected for the study and interviews were done to students sitting for the ordinary level examinations to determine the reasons for dropping religious studies. Key informants interviews were done to respective teachers, school authorities to get their views on the dropping of religious education in schools. The other research instruments used were questionnaires, interviews, and the document analysis in order to gather as much data as possible both from students and school authorities. The research found out that pupils in high density secondary schools of Harare are badly burdened by the poor financial background, lack of learning resources, and uncertainty of the future careers of the subject when they finish school. This was found to affect the schools enrolments for Religious Studies at Ordinary Level as well as sitting for the final ordinary level examinations which was shown to have drastically declined. The study, thus, recommended the promotion of modern and dynamic methods in the teaching of Religious Studies with a new changed path for multi-faith approach in lesson delivery as well as the use of technologies to make the learning exhilarating.

KEY WORDS: Students, school, religious studies, teacher, urban, pupils, ordinary level examinations, social problems, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors.

About the Authors: Fungai Hamilton Mudzengerere, M.Sc. is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of the Built Environment NUST (National University of Science and Technology), P.O. Box AC 939 Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; and Edmore Mbokochena, M.Ed. is a Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Women’s University in Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe. Corresponding author is:

How to cite this article? Mudzengerere, Fungai Hamilton & Edmore Mbokochena. (2014). “The Delicate Dropping of Religious Studies at Ordinary Level by Students in High Density Urban Schools of Harare, Zimbabwe” in EDUCARE: International Journal for Educational Studies, Vol.6(2) February, pp.189-198. Bandung, Indonesia: Minda Masagi Press owned by ASPENSI in Bandung, West Java; and FKIP UMP in Purwokerto, Central Java, ISSN 1979-7877.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (December 2, 2013); Revised (January 5, 2014); and Published (February 17, 2014).

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