Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 2

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2 Combating Corruption to Enhance Learner Academic Achievement: A Qualitative Study of Zimbabwean Public Secondary Schools

Authors: Onesmus Nyaude

Abstract:

The aim of the study was to investigate participants’ views on how corruption can be combated to enhance learner academic achievement. The study was undertaken on three select public secondary institutions in Zimbabwe. This study also focuses on exploring the various views of educators; parents and the learners on the role played by corruption in perpetuating the seemingly existing learner academic achievement disparities in various educational institutions. The study further interrogates and examines the nexus between the prevalence of corruption in schools and the subsequent influence on the academic achievement of learners. Corruption is considered a form of social injustice; hence in Zimbabwe, the general consensus is that it is perceived rife to the extent that it is overtaking the traditional factors that contributed to the poor academic achievement of learners. Coupled to this, have been the issue of gross abuse of power and some malpractices emanating from concealment of essential and official transactions in the conduct of business. Through proposing robust anti-corruption mechanisms, teaching and learning resources poured in schools would be put into good use. This would prevent the unlawful diversion and misappropriation of the resources in question which has always been the culture. This study is of paramount significance to curriculum planners, teachers, parents, and learners. The study was informed by the interpretive paradigm; thus qualitative research approaches were used. Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were adopted in ‘site and participants’ selection. A representative sample of (150) participants was used. The study found that the majority of the participants perceived corruption as a social problem and a human right threat affecting the quality of teaching and learning processes in the education sector. It was established that corruption prevalence within institutions is as a result of the perpetual weakening of ethical values and other variables linked to upholding of ‘Ubuntu’ among general citizenry. It was further established that greediness and weak systems are major causes of rampant corruption within institutions of higher learning and are manifesting through abuse of power, bribery, misappropriation and embezzlement of material and financial resources. Therefore, there is great need to collectively address the problem of corruption in educational institutions and society at large. The study additionally concludes that successful combating of corruption will promote successful moral development of students as well as safeguarding their human rights entitlements. The study recommends the adoption of principles of good corporate governance within educational institutions in order to successfully curb corruption. The study further recommends the intensification of interventionist strategies and strengthening of systems in educational institutions as well as regular audits to overcome the problem associated with rampant corruption cases.

Keywords: Corruption, Academic Achievement, good corporate governance, qualitative study, combating

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1 Combating the Practice of Open Defecation through Appropriate Communication Strategies in Rural India

Authors: Santiagomani Alex Parimalam

Abstract:

Lack of awareness on the consequences of open defecation and myths and misconceptions related to use of toilets have led to the continued practice of open defecation in India. Government of India initiated a multi-pronged intensive communication campaign against the practice of open defecation in the last few years. The primary vision of this communication campaign was to provide increased demand for toilets and to ensure that all have access to safe sanitation. The campaign strategy included the use of mass media, group and folk media, and interpersonal communication to expedite achieving its objectives. The campaign included the use of various media such as posters, wall writings, slides in cinema theatres, kiosks, pamphlets, newsletters, flip charts and folk media to bring behavioural changes in the communities. The author did a concurrent monitoring and process documentation of the campaigns initiated by the state of Tamilnandu, India between 2013 and 2016 commissioned by UNICEF India. The study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of the communication campaigns in combating the practice of open defecation and promote construction of toilets in the state of Tamilnadu, India. Initial findings revealed the gap in understanding the audience and the use of appropriate media. The first phase of the communication campaign by name as Chi Chi Chollapa (bringing shame concept) also revealed that use of interpersonal communication, group and community media were the most effective strategy in reaching the rural masses. The failure of various other media used especially the print media (poster, handbills, newsletter, kiosks) provides insights as to where the government needs to invest its resources in bringing health-seeking behaviour in the community. The findings shared with the government enabled to strengthen the campaign resulting in improved response. Taking cues from the study, the government understood the potency of the women, school children, youth and community leaders as the effective carriers of the message. The government narrowed down its focus and invested on the voluntary workers (village poverty reduction committee workers VPRCs) in the community. The effectiveness of interpersonal communication and peer education by the credible community worker threw light on the need for localising the content and communicator. From this study, we could derive that only community and group media are preferred by the people in the rural community. Children, youth, women, and credible local leaders are proved to be ambassadors in behaviour change communication. This study discloses the lacunae involved in the communication campaign and points out that the state should have carried out a proper communication need analysis and piloting. The study used a survey method with random sampling. The study used both quantitative and qualitative tools such as interview schedules, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions in rural areas of Tamilnadu in phases. The findings of the study would provide directions to future campaigns to any campaign concerning health and rural development.

Keywords: Communication, open defecation, combating, appropriate

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