n Education as Change - The educational challenges facing early adolescents who head families in rural Limpopo Province

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the educational challenges of rural early adolescents who head families as a result of their parents being migrant workers. A qualitative research design was used with a sample of early adolescents and their teachers from four schools in the Limpopo Province. Data was collected through individual and focus group interviews with learners and teachers, life histories, observations and field notes. The findings indicate that early adolescents encounter various educational challenges, such as poor academic achievement, negative attitudes of teachers, a lack of school necessities, poor school discipline and an increased rate of school dropouts due to pregnancy, life on the streets and job absorption. However, on a positive note, resilience of many of the adolescents to succeed in obtaining an education despite their educational challenges was observed. This posed a challenge to Erikson's theory of psychosocial development during the period of adolescence. On the basis of the findings, a Community Based Approach is recommended to address the educational challenges of the adolescents under study through an ecosystems and whole school development approach. This is crucial as the problem of child-headed families is a harsh reality in South Africa, not least as a result of the AIDS pandemic.

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