A comparative analysis of the causes of primary school dropout in an urban and commercial farm setting in Norton Area, Zimbabwe
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This study sought to compare the causes of school dropout in a commercial farm setting and an urban setting. The sample for the study consisted of forty teachers (twenty from each setting) drawn from two urban schools and three commercial farm schools, twenty parents/ caregivers (ten from each setting) , forty pupils (twenty from each setting), ten primary school dropouts (five from each setting) and five school heads of the five schools in the sample, all drawn from an urban and commercial farm setting. '. Forty questionnaires were administered to forty teachers and structured interviews conducted with the heads of the five schools, pupils primary school dropouts and parents / care givers. The study found that there are similarities and differences in the causes of school'dropout in the two settings. Whilst the causes might be similar, they tend to impact differently on the schools in both settings with schools in the commercial farm setting being the worst affected. Socio cultural factors such as chinamwari (female initiation) and nyau/gure(male dance sub cultural group have a negative impact on retention rates in both settings though they tend to have a greater impact on children in a commercial farm setting Although some schools in an urban setting are also negatively affected by, lack of adequate school facilities and poverty ofparents schools in a commercial farm setting experience these factors to a greater extent. The current land reform programme appears to have negatively affected schools in the commercial farm setting more than those in an urban setting. The study recommends that government and non governmental organisations should assist in infrastructural development in commercial farm schools as they tend to have the poorest facilities in comparative terms, these A multicultural approach which would recognise the different linguistic backgrounds of children in both settings should be introduced and poverty alleviation strategies targeting commercial farm workers should be initiated since farm workers tend to experience the impact of poverty in more adverse ways.