Decolonising Religious Education The Learner Factor in the Implementation of Naturalistic Approach to RE in Chivuna, Zambia

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Tokisa Khonje
Joseph Kayuni Hachintu


Since independence in 1964, the provision of Religious Education in schools has followed the path of a ‘religious naturalistic approach’ based on a religious inclusive curriculum policy. However, some learners’ knowledge of non-Christian religions seems to be scanty, especially in some rural areas where Christianity seems to dominate probably due to the ripple effects of colonisation. Guided by Michael Grimmitt’s conceptions and value assumptions of ‘Religious Absolutism’ versus Religious Equality, the study aimed at assessing the learners’ knowledge of non-Christian religions in Chivuna Community of Mazabuka district, and to examine the challenges bordering on the learner factor in the implementation of the naturalistic approach in RE. The descriptive design was used along with a qualitative method to gather data which was analysed using SPSS, based on a sample of 74 respondents from two Primary schools. The findings of the study indicated that the knowledge of non-Christian religions in some learners was quite shallow, and lacking in others. Factors that led to learners’ poor knowledge of non-Christian religions, such as poor reading culture, lack of physical exposure to non-Christian religions, and learners’ rural background, were identified and analysed. The study made the following recommendations: (1) that only well-trained teachers should be allowed to teach Religious Education in schools, (2) teachers to be creative enough in their teaching, by using such methods as blended learning (3) to improve the reading culture (4) to utilise the expertise of guest facilitators from non-Christian religions in the teaching of RE. 

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Khonje , T. ., & Hachintu, J. K. . . (2023). Decolonising Religious Education: The Learner Factor in the Implementation of Naturalistic Approach to RE in Chivuna, Zambia. Kwame Nkrumah University Multi-Disciplinary Journal - Zambia, 1(1), 53–68. Retrieved from
Social Sciences


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