Poor urban learners' long walks to school and the influence on their school activities.
Dladla, Thamsanqa Elphas.
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Poor urban learners' long walks to school and the influence on their school activities. My study is about poor urban learners who walk long distances to school. I explore how their school trip affects their participation in school activities - co-curricular and extra curricula activities, and their understandings about the educational implications. The purpose of this study is two-fold: to understand poor urban learners' school trips through their own voices; and to reflect on the school management implications of the findings. In a case study of one school located in the Cato Manor redevelopment area of Durban, I explore Grade 10 learners' accounts of their walks to and from school and how this affects their early morning and afternoon school activities and what they understand might be the reasons and consequences in their futures. My findings are that poor urban learners encounter security risks daily on their way to school and they use various strategies to navigate those risks; learners experience unsympathetic and negative responses from some staff relating to their long walks to reach school; and the learners say that school regimes rather than the long distances they walk are jeopardising their educational aspirations. At the outset my theoretical perspective was that the school trip is an obtacle to poor urban learners' education capabilities. However my conclusion is that some school regimes are unresponsive to poor urban learners' needs and may obstruct the educational opportunities for learners to better their futures more than does their walking long distances to school.
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