Administrative Mitigation Measures against Examination Attrition Rates in Tertiary Institutions: A Case of School of Education, University of Zambia

  • Harrison Daka
  • Ferdinand M. Chipindi
  • Agness Phiri
  • Bertha Mulenga
  • Leah Mvula
  • Judith Chirwa


The purpose of the study was to formulate strategies that heads of departments can use in mitigating examination attrition. The study was done from the School of Education of the University of Zambia. A case design was used through a qualitative approach. The heads of department who once experienced examination attrition rates on the departments in the School of Education were the target population. Therefore, purposive sampling was used to gather participants’ responses from the nine (9) participants. Coding and thematic analysis of data using the emerging themes from the findings was used to analyse data. From the findings, main factors leading examination attrition rates were cited as financial constraints, taking courses for prestige, ignorance about the importance of assessments and work overload. The findings revealed that heads of department play various roles in mitigating examination attrition such as allocating lecturers to each student to offer counselling to students who are faced with academic challenges. In addition, the findings revealed that heads of departments keep up to date with students’ academic performances so that they can provide solutions if students are facing any challenges academically. From the findings, the following recommendations were made: students must meet with their course lecturers for consultation as it plays an important role in retention of students in schools, detailed feedback from lecturers must be given to students in time, academic and psycho-social counselling must be provided to all students.Keywords: examination attrition, heads of department, counselling, mitigating