School dropout among female learners in rural Mpumalanga, South Africa

Prince Mokoena, Adrian D. van Breda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


South Africa, like many countries, has high numbers of learners who do not complete secondary schooling. This reduces these young people’s chances of finding work or of earning a better salary. It is thus important to understand the factors that contribute to high school dropout. In the study reported on here we investigated the factors that caused a number of female learners to drop out and return to high school in a rural community in Mpumalanga. The learners provided 3 reasons for dropping out of school: pregnancy, illness and immigration. The analysis of these factors suggests 3 underlying themes that influence the ability of children to remain in school, viz. health, policies and structures, and poverty. The implications of these and recommendations to address them are discussed. The authors argue that greater interdepartmental efforts are required to support vulnerable girls to remain in school.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1842
JournalSouth African Journal of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Discrimination
  • Illness
  • Immigration
  • Pregnancy
  • School dropout
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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