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ACADEMICIA: AN INTERNATIONAL MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH JOURNAL
Year : 2021, Volume : 11, Issue : 2
First page : ( 1628) Last page : ( 1645)
Online ISSN : 2249-7137.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2249-7137.2021.00568.1

Acceptability and challenges of online higher education in the covid-19 era in Zambia

Kayombo Kelvin Mukolo1, Mwiinga Brian2

1School of Business, ZCAS University, Dedan Kimathi, Lusaka, Zambia, East Africa Email id: kkayombo@zcas.edu.zm

2Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies, Dedan Kimathi, Lusaka, Zambia, East Africa Email id: brian.mwiinga@zcas.edu.zm

Online published on 3 April, 2021.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of online education to students in higher learning institutions in Zambia. The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) forced the education system world-wide to adopt online education immediately. An online survey was conducted amongst the students at ZCAS and ZCAS University in Lusaka, Zambia. A randomly selected sample of 542 students participated in the online survey. Firstly, a descriptive statistical analysis of the responses was conducted in which frequencies were tabulated; thereafter, cross tabulations which produced chi-square value testing for significance and analysis of variances were run. The main findings of the study are that female students were more receptive of online education than their male counterparts, while postgraduate students embraced online education better that undergraduate students. However, the mode of study i.e. whether full time, part time or distance education, and the type of programme i.e. whether academic or professional had no significant influence on acceptability of online education. With respect to the challenges associated with online education, the study found that cost of data bundles and internet speed were the most significant hindrances to learners’ accessibility to online education. These and several other factors resulted in learners’ overall dissatisfaction with online education. The findings of this study can be used in designing strategies for online education in Zambia and across the world. The main recommendations are that universities should implement initiatives to motivate male learners to adopt online education, and reduce students’ cost of access to their online learning platforms.

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Keywords

COVID-19, Higher Education, Lockdown, Online Education, ZCAS University.

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