School Dropout in Rural Uganda: Stakeholder Perceptions on Contributing Factors and Solutions
This theory-based qualitative study reports perceptions on the contributing factors of school dropouts, and recommendations for action and areas of capacity building to reduce the high rate of school dropouts in Uganda. The study which interviewed 101 adolescents, family and community members from rural Budondo sub-county (Jinja district), was based on constructs of the social cognitive theory and analyzed by thematic analysis using Atlas-ti (version7.5.4). Contributing factors include: poor academic performance, failure to cope with school, lack of social skills to cope with life’s challenges, early employment, early pregnancy, lack of parental care and role models, child-headed families, media influence, and drug abuse, poor payment of teachers, poverty among parents, child labor, long distances to school, family gardening, and lack of school/personal effects. Recommendations are: training students in social skills, involvement of national and local leaders in motivating learners, sensitization of parents and community, accessible sexual and reproductive health services, use of school counselors, involvement of the resident of Uganda in discouraging school dropouts, enforcement of laws, compulsory handcraft skills training for high school students in lower classes, increased school budgets and teachers’ salaries, income generation skills, job creation for parents, provision of school meals, co-curricular activities, accessible schools, and provision of free sanitary towels. Areas for capacity building are: use of school counselors and trained learner-leaders to motivate learners, training community leaders to handle challenges of learner, reform of school curriculum for vocational training, use of school gardens for skilling and school food, and training learners/teachers in making sanitary towels. Parental/community support to students, introduction of co-curricular and vocational skills in schools may help reduce school dropouts.
School Dropout in Rural Uganda: Stakeholder Perceptions on Contributing Factors and Solutions, Education Journal.
Vol. 8, No. 5,
2019, pp. 185-195.
UNESCO. (2017). Human rights education. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/human-rights-education/.
UN (United Nations). (2015). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015. https://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20(July%201).pdf.
Mpyangu, M. C., Ochen, A. E., Onyango, O. E., and Lubaale, M. A. Y. (2014). Out of school children study in Uganda. https://www.unicef.org/uganda/OUT_OF_SCHOOL_CHILDREN_STUDY_REPORT__FINAL_REPORT_2014.pdf.
World Bank. (2014). Uganda national education profile 2014 update. https://www.epdc.org/sites/default/files/documents/EPDC%20NEP_Uganda.pdf.
UBOS (Uganda Bureau of Statistics) (2017). Education: a means for population transformation. Thematic series based on the national population and housing census 2014. https://www.ubos.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/03_2018Education_Monograph_Report_Final_08-12-2017.pdf.
UBOS (Uganda Bureau of Statistics). (2014). Republic of Uganda: national population and housing census 2014. http://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/NPHC/NPHC%202014%20PROVISIONAL%20RESULTS%20REPORT.pdf.
Glennie, E., Bonneau, K., Vandellen, M., and Dodge, A. K. (2012). Addition by subtraction: the relation between dropout rates and school-level academic achievement. Teach Coll Rec, 114 (8): 1–26.
Henry, L. K., Knight, E. K., and Thornberry, P. K. (2012). School disengagement as a predictor of dropout, delinquency, and problem substance use during adolescence and early adulthood. J Youth Adolesc. 41 (2): 156-166.
Nabugoomu, J. (2018). Adolescent maternal nutrition and health in Uganda: voices from the community. https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/12946/Nabugoomu_Josephine.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., and Viswanath, K. (2002). Health behavior and health education: theory, research, and practice. Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 9780787996147. Forth Edition. Pp 59, 69, 167-185, 271-414.
McKenzie, J. F., and Smeltezer, J. L. (1997). Planning, implementing, and evaluating health promotion programs. Allyn and Bacon. ISBN: 0205200699. Second Edition. Pp 96-114.
Bandura, A. (2004). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Health Educ Behav, 31 (2): 143-164.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN 9781452226101. Forth Edition. Pp 6-8.
Ritchie, L., and Lewis, L. (2003). Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN 0761971092. First Edition. Pp 336. http://www.sxf.uevora.pt/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Ritchie_2003.pdf.
Bisman, J. (2010). Postpositivism and accounting research. A (personal) primer on critical realism. AAFBJ. 4 (4): 1-25.
Hutton, E. (2009). An examination of postpositivism and postmodernism. http://ericahutton.blogspot.ca/2009/03/examination-of-postpositivism.html.
Crossan, F. (2003). Research philosophy: towards an understanding. Nurse Res. 11 (1): 46-55.
Racher, F. E., and Robin, S. (2003). Are phenomenology and postpositivism strange bedfellows? West J Nurs Res. 25 (5): 464-481.
Clark, A. M. (1998). The qualitative-quantitative debate: moving from positivism and confrontation to post-positivism and reconciliation. J Adv Nurs. 27 (6): 1242-1249.
Swift, J. A., and Tischler, V. (2010). Qualitative research in nutrition and dietetics: getting started. J Hum Nutr Diet. 23 (6): 559-566.
UNDP. (2014). Republic of Uganda poverty status report 2014: structural change and poverty reduction in Uganda. http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/sites/planipolis/files/ressources/uganda_poverty_status_report_2014.pdf.
UBOS (Uganda Bureau of Statistics). (2009). Jinja district. Higher local government statistical abstract. http://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/2009_HLG_%20Abstract_printed/jinja%20district%202009%20statistical%20abstract%20FINAL1.pdf.
Tongco, M. D. C. (2007). Purposive sampling as a tool for informant selection. Ethnobotany Research & Applications. 5: 147-158.
Draper, A., and Swift, J. A. (2011). Qualitative research in nutrition and dietetics: data collection issues. J Hum Nutr Diet. 24 (1): 3-12.
Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic networks: an analytic tool for qualitative research. Commission for health improvement, England. Qualitative Research. SAGE Publications. 1 (3): 385-405.
Smith, J., and Firth, J. (2011). Qualitative data analysis: application of the framework approach. Nurse Researcher. 18 (2): 52-62.
Swift, J.A., and Tischler, V. (2010). Qualitative research in nutrition and dietetics: getting started. J Hum Nutr Diet. 23 (6): 559-566.
Braun, V., and Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 3 (2): 77-101.
Tang, T. S., Funnell, M. M., Sinco, B., Spencer, M. S., and Heisler, M. (2015). Peer-led, empowerment-based approach to self-management efforts in diabetes (PLEASED): A randomized controlled trial in an African American community. Ann Fam Med. 13 Suppl 1: S27-35.
Mastroleo, N. R., Magill, M., Barnett, N. P., and Borsari, B. (2014). A pilot study of two supervision approaches for peer-led alcohol interventions with mandated college students. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 75 (3): 458-466.
O’Hara, P., Messick, B. J., Fichtner, R. R., and Parris, D. (1996). A peer-led AIDS prevention program for students in an alternative school. J Sch Health. 66 (5): 176-182.
Masia, W. C., Colognori, D., Brice, C., Herzig, K., Mufson, L., Lynch, C., Reiss, P. T., Petkowa, E., Fox, J., Moceri, D. C., Ryan, J., Klein, R. G. (2016). Can school counselors deliver cognitive-behavioral treatment for social anxiety effectively? A randomized controlled trial. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 57 (11): 1229-1238.
American Counseling Association. (2007). Effectiveness of school counseling. https://wvde.state.wv.us/counselors/administrators/Effectiveness+of+School+Counseling.pdf.
Sivis-Cetinkaya, R. (2015). Turkish school counselors' experiences of reporting child sexual abuse: A brief report. J Child Sex Abuse. 24 (8): 908-921.
Babakhani, N. (2011). The effects of social skills training on self- esteem and aggression male adolescents. Social and Behavioral Sciences. 30: 1565-1570.
Gökel, M., and Dağlı, G. (2017). Effects of social skill training program on social skills of young people. EURASIA J. Math Sci Tech. Ed. 13 (11): 7365–7373.
Dantuono, N. (2015). How social media is effecting social and communication skills among adolescents. 2015. https://slwrig02.expressions.syr.edu/spring2015wrt205/2015/03/28/how-social-media-is-effecting-social-and-communication-skills-among-adolescents/.
Kashfi, F., Ramdoss, S., and MacMillan, S. (2012). BRAC's empowerment and livelihood for adolescents: changing mind-sets and going to scale with social and financial skills for girls. https://www.unicef.org/socialpolicy/files/BRAC-_November_2012.pdf.
YEFG (Youth Employment Funders Group) (2018). What works in soft skills development for youth employment? A donors’ perspective. https://mastercardfdn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/soft-skills-youth-employment-accessible2.pdf.
NCDC (National Curriculum Development Centre). (2018). http://www.ncdc.go.ug/.
Amwine, A. G. (2005). To what extent does Uganda’s education system support the teaching of fine art in secondary schools? https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/172037/Master_Amwine_v05.pdf?sequence=1.
Ndagire, A. (2014). Factors affecting students’ performance in art and crafts at "O" Level in secondary schools in Lubaga South Division, Kampala District. http://hdl.handle.net/10570/4452.
Tukashaba, D. (2013). Teaching methods and students’ performance in Fine Art in private secondary schools in Kakoba Division, Mbarara District. http://hdl.handle.net/10570/3647.
Wamai, R. G., Ayissi, C. A., Oduwo, G. O., Perlman, S., Welty, E., Manga, S., and Ogembo, J. G. (2012). Assessing the effectiveness of a community-based sensitization strategy in creating awareness about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine among parents in North West Cameroon. J Community Health. 37 (5): 917-926.
Tagbo, B. N., Ughasoro, M. D., and Esangbedo, O. (2014). Parental acceptance of inactivated polio vaccine in Southeast Nigeria: a qualitative cross-sectional interventional study. Vaccine. 32 (46): 6157-6162.
Tylleskar, T., Jackson, D., Meda, N., Engebretsen, I. M., Chopra, M., Diallo, A. H., Doherty, T., Ekström, E. C., Fadnes, L. T., Goga, A., Kankasa, C., Klungsøyr, J. I., Lombard, C., Nankabirwa, V., Nankunda, J. K., Van de Perre, P., Sanders, D., Shanmugam, R., Sommerfelt, H., Wamani, H., Tumwine, J. K., and PROMISE-EBF Study Group. (2011). Exclusive breastfeeding promotion by peer counsellors in sub-Saharan Africa (PROMISE-EBF): a cluster-randomised trial. Lancet. 378 (9789): 420–427.
WHO. (2017). Global accelerated action for the health of adolescents (AA-HA!): guidance to support country implementation. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255415/9789241512343-eng.pdf;jsessionid=D7366F63A6CF3A73F86DE9A64688C8D9?sequence=1.
Mahoney, J. L., and Cairns, R. B. (1997). Do extracurricular activities protect against early school dropout? Developmental Psychology. 33 (2): 241-253.
CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training). (2011). The benefits of vocational education and training. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/5510_en.pdf.
UBOS (Uganda Bureau of Statistics). (2017). Statistical Abstract. https://www.ubos.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/03_20182017_Statistical_Abstract.pdf.
The Republic of Uganda (Ministry of Education & Sports). (2011). Skilling Uganda BTVET strategic plan 2012/3 to 2021/2. http://fenu.or.ug/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Skilling-Uganda-BTVET-Strategic-Plan-final-version.pdf.
The State House of Uganda. "Fight poverty, unemployment" says President as he graduates skilled girls. http://www.statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/10/30/fight-poverty-unemployment-say-president-he-graduates-skilled-girls (2017, Accessed 14 August 2019).
Bush, J. M. (2003). The effect of extracurricular activities on school dropout. https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.ca/&httpsredir=1&article=1006&context=psych_honproj.
Fortune, R. D. (2013). A study of the effect of co-curricular courses on student attendance, composite act score and student dropout rate. http://www.nwmissouri.edu/library/researchpapers/2013/Fortune,%20Ronald%20D.pdf.
Chapman, D. W., Burton, L. and Werner, J. (2010). Universal secondary education in Uganda: The head teachers’ dilemma. Int J Ed Dev. 30 (1): 77-82.
Molyneaux, K. L. (2011). Uganda's universal secondary education policy and its effect on ‘empowered’ women: how reduced income and moonlighting activities differentially impact male and female teachers. Research in comparative and international education. 6 (1): 62-78.
Asankha, P., and Takashi, Y. (2015). Impacts of universal secondary education policy on secondary school enrollments in Uganda. http://www.wbiconpro.com/226-Allegadara.pdf.
Rutaremwa, G. (2013). Factors associated with adolescent pregnancy and fertility in Uganda: analysis of the 2011 demographic and health survey data. Am J Soc Res. 3 (2): 30-35.
Busingye C. The New Vision Uganda: 13 years of UPE success but daunting challenges remain. http://www.newvision.co.ug/mobile/Detail.aspx?NewsID=633092&CatID=417 (2012, Accessed 14 July 2019).
Plan International. (2017). Kenya passes historic law to give free sanitary pads to school girls. https://stories.plancanada.ca/girls-will-never-miss-school-periods-kenya-passes-historic-law-give-free-sanitary-pads-schoolgirls/.
Tegegne, T. K., and Sisay, M. M. (2014). Menstrual hygiene management and school absenteeism among female adolescent students in Northeast Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 14: 1118.
Phillips-Howard, P. A., Nyothach, E., Ter Kuile, F. O., Omoto, J., Wang, D., Zeh, C., Onyango, C., Mason L., Alexander, K. T., Odhiambo, F. O., Eleveld, A., Mohammed, A., van Eijk, A. M.., Edwards, R. T., Vulule, J., Faragher, B., and Laserson, K. F. (0116). Menstrual cups and sanitary pads to reduce school attrition, and sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections: a cluster randomised controlled feasibility study in rural Western Kenya. BMJ Open. 6 (11): e013229.
Ingholt, L., Sørensen, B. B., Andersen, S., Zinckernagel, L., Friis-Holmberg, T., Frank, A. V., Stock, C., Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, T., and Rod, M. H. (2015). How can we strengthen students’ social relations in order to reduce school dropout? An intervention development study within four Danish vocational schools. BMC Public Health. 15: 502.