Factors contributing to learners absconding in a high school in Phoenix.
The focus of this study is to explore the factors that contribute to learners absconding. The study was conducted in one peri-urban school in Phoenix. The study was guided by two research questions: (i) what are the factors that contribute to absconding of learners? (ii) how does absconding impact on teaching and learning? The study employed Bronfenbrenner’s Social Ecological Model as a theoretical framework. The paradigmatic position of the study was from an interpretivist view. A qualitative research approach was used and the study was in the form of a single case study of a school in Phoenix, Durban. Ten participants were selected using snowball sampling, purposive sampling and convenience sampling. The participants were made up of seven learners and three educators. The data generation process was obtained through open-ended questionnaires with learner participants only, semi-structured interviews with all participants, focus group discussion with learner participants only and documentary sources (school records). Data was analysed using content analysis. The overall findings of the research show that the factors that contribute to learners absconding are situated at the peer and school level. The findings also show that absconding has educational and social effects. In addition, the findings reveal that educators and other learners who attend school regularly are also affected by absconding.