Promoting gender equity
High school students' perception of affirmative action in high schools in Masvingo urban, Zimbabwe
This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the girlchild affirmative action policy in secondary schools in Zimbabwe.
The study established that male students are more than female students in all advanced level disciplines studied at the schools; both male and female students do not support affirmative action in their schools; authorities are not doing enough to conscientise teachers and students on the need for affirmative action in schools; the policy is not being implemented in secondary schools in Zimbabwe and thus it is not yet effective in meeting the desired goals.
The main challenge faced by schools in the implementation of the policy was found to be mainly negative attitudes towards affirmative action.
Entering school at lower points than boys reinforces the idea that women are academically weaker than men.
The study recommends intensive awareness campaigns and advocacy to remove negative attitudes towards affirmative action; formal training sessions on affirmative action in the schools to help students contextualise the concept of affirmative action; government monitoring and follow-ups to ensure that the policy is implemented; among other recommendations.
Maxwell Musingafi is the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Open University Masvingo Campus Academic Research and Publications Coordinating Committee.
He completed PhD and MPhil from NWU, South Africa, and MBA from ZOU, Zimbabwe.
His area of interest is grassroots governance, gender, community development, water supply and poverty reduction.