Institutional constraints affecting secondary school student performance: a case study of rural communities in Zimbabwe

Autor(es): Marongedza, Leon; Hlungwani, Promise M.; Hove, Precious

Date: 2023

Pages: p. 1-14

Serie: Cogent Education

Series Volume: 10, 1 (2023)


The study analyses the institutional constraints affecting child performance in secondary schools within rural communities in Zimbabwe. A qualitative approach employing purposive sampling of participants was incorporated in the study. Eight focus group discussions (FDGs), 16 in-depth interviews and four key informant interviews were conducted in eight rural secondary schools located in Seke and Shamva districts. The general systems theory was embraced as the theoretical framework in this study. The principle of theoretical saturation was applied in both the focus group discussion sessions and interviews where they ran up until a clear pattern emerged and subsequent groups produced no new information. Data were analysed using thematic analysis techniques which systematically coded data to discover prevailing trends. The major highlight of the results is that rural learners have to grapple with a lot of challenges in trying to access education. Inadequate resources, long distances to school and demotivated teachers constitute the main highlights of the findings. The study established that there is a need to explore more issues affecting the realisation of equitable and inclusive education systems specifically for learners in rural communities. This article also posits that addressing institutional constraints that are affecting child performance in rural secondary schools is not cast in stone. Thus, this requires a holistic approach through engagement of all stakeholders involved in the drive towards quality education and leaving no one behind.

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