n Commonwealth Youth and Development - The troubled journeys of school drop-outs : wastage, redemption and policy considerations

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



The study traces the pathways of young people who dropped out of school between grades 1 to 11 as they seek re-entrance to the education, training and development (ETD) system, or entrance into the labour market. Particular attention is given to the factors that determine the choices that drop-outs make in either re-entering the ETD system or entering the labour market. An analysis of the experiences of the interviewed sample of drop-outs is presented. The study employs a qualitative research methodology, using interviews to elicit the experiences of drop-outs and school managers. Through snowballing, 14 youths and three principals were selected from a township south of Durban. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted. The findings provide insights into the drop-outs' perceptions regarding the value of investing in education. They are discussed further in relation to the respective theories used in the study. The concluding section suggests the need for investments in second chance education by government and the private sector, and proposes an integrated model to assist young people who re-enter psychologically and emotionally.

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