Religious education and people’s perception on the subject: A case of selected secondary schools in Lusaka District, Zambia

Chanda Chansa Thelma 1, *, Zohaib Hassan Sain 2, Chisebe Sylvester 3, Mwila Mwenda Gilbert 4, Daniel Monta Mulenga 5 and Edwin Vinandi Phiri 6

1 Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Chreso University, Lusaka, Zambia.
2 MS Quality Management Trainer, Superior University, Lahore, Pakistan.
3 School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Eden University, Lusaka, Zambia.
4 Department of ECE and Primary Education, Rockview University, Lusaka, Zambia.
5 School of Health Sciences, Rockview University, Lusaka, Zambia.
6 Department of Education and Social Sciences, P.O Box 440091, Isoka, Zambia.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 1822–1836
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1918
Publication history: 
Received on 16 May 2024; revised on 26 June 2024; accepted on 28 June 2024
Overview: Religious education plays a pivotal role globally, reflecting diverse perspectives and practices across continents. In Africa, religious education intertwines with cultural heritage, shaping moral frameworks and societal norms. The study was conducted in Lusaka district, the capital city of Zambia.
Body of Knowledge: The theoretical and practical insights gained from this study contribute to enhancing understanding of the role of religious education in fostering moral and ethical development, promoting intercultural dialogue, and cultivating inclusive educational environments. By addressing the identified challenges and leveraging opportunities for collaboration between schools, families, and communities, stakeholders can work towards creating inclusive educational policies and practices that respect and celebrate religious diversity.
Methods: The study employed both the qualitative and quantitative methods and a descriptive survey design that sampled Head teachers, RE teachers, and Pupils of RE. The sample size for this study was 150. Data was obtained from the respondents by means of interviews and questionnaires. This study used descriptive analysis to analyze the data. Tables, graphs and pie-charts were used in combination with the use of software, MS access and MS Excel to analyze data.
Results: Religious education plays a significant role in shaping students' moral and ethical values. Despite some skepticism about its relevance in a modern, pluralistic society, the majority of participants including pupils, teachers, and parents viewed religious education positively. They believed it fosters tolerance, empathy, and respect for diverse beliefs. However, there were also concerns about the potential for religious education to become doctrinal rather than educational, emphasizing the need for a balanced and inclusive curriculum that respects all faiths.
Recommendation: The study highlighted the importance of training educators to handle religious education in a way that promotes critical thinking and open dialogue, rather than mere indoctrination.
Cultural Diversity; Ethical Leadership; Religious Education; Perception; School
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