5.3 Type of school provision and organisation
Organisation issues are of paramount importance when considering
any expansion of school enrolments. The size and spacial distribution of schools
is particularly critical. The choice is often between one large centralised
school or smaller schools at shorter distances from children's' homes.
Research suggests that smaller schools with closer community ties are more
effective for boys as well as girls (Herz et al, 1991). The distance problem has
been approached in two ways: either the schools are brought closer to homes or
boarding facilities are provided. There is a strong move towards
decentralisation of school structures in many African countries which has the
potential of bringing schooling closer to the people. Different modes of
educational delivery have been experimented with, including multigrade
classrooms, double shifting with feeder and satellite schools at the primary
level, radio and correspondence courses at the post-primary levels, and literacy
programmes for adults (King and Hill, 1993). Distance education is particularly
suited to countries like Zambia with widely dispersed rural communities.
The relative merits of single sex day and boarding schools have
already been discussed at some length. Although single sex boarding schools are
relatively costly, they do seem to offer a safe and secure atmosphere for girls.
Until mixed schools are able to provide an atmosphere that is supportive to
girls, single sex schooling, in theory at least, remains a desirable, although