Factors affecting caregivers' perceptions of the mode of transport for school going children in rural areas : a case study of Emmaus area.
The role transport plays in enabling people access to services is very important. However, transport for school going children in rural areas has not been given much attention. Transport programmes aimed at improving access to schools by rural children cannot be successful in their formation and implementation without the full participation of parents. Therefore, the objectives of the study were to learn about the factors influencing caregivers' choices of the modes of transport for their school going children and to establish how caregivers view the importance of transport for their school going children, particularly in rural areas. One hundred and twenty six respondents were interviewed in this study. Two focus group interviews were conducted with teachers from eZinyonyana Primary and Mthende High Schools. It transpired that the majority of children walk to school. Most parents are aware of the problems associated with walking. However, the majority of them did not believe that walking could impact on their children's performance at school. This belief, though, differed with parents who perceive themselves too distant from school, hence believing that walking can affect their children's performance at school. Also, the majority of caregivers from communities furthest from schools believed that the availability of transport could improve their children's performance at school. They expected the government to provide transport for learners as most of them felt that even if transport can be made available, they could not still afford it since they are not employed. Although aware of the dangers associated with walking, some parents did not feel they could accompany their children school. This task was entirely left with the older children who are supposed to look after the younger ones on their way to and from school.
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