n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Why do learners drop out of school? Learner perceptions in the Fort Beaufort District, Eastern Cape, South Africa




This article is based on a master in education research study undertaken in the Fort Beaufort district of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. In a case study, Mgwangqa used interpretive qualitative research techniques, based mainly on structured and semi-structured interviews of teachers, learners and parents, to find out why learners drop out of school in the early years of secondary education. Like many other quantitative as well as qualitative studies, she found that poverty was the overriding factor in dropouts. However, the voices of learners provided a startling picture of life for children in the rural Eastern Cape. This article focuses on giving these voices a wider audience. The authors feel that no children should endure the situations described in the article, and that society must move to find much greater support for children who are at risk of humiliation and abuse at home and in school.


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