Challenges faced by secondary school girls who stay far away from schools in Gokwe South District
Keywords:long distance, rural girls, Gokwe, teenage pregnancy
This paper explores, and shares, sorrowful circumstances school girls walking long distances to school in Gokwe South are exposed to. The article provides some insights on the challenges faced by school girls to access schooling in Gokwe South District of Zimbabwe. The article is a reaction to the rising concerns over the challenges bedevilling rural school girls and education. Three secondary schools out of nine with girl learners who walk long distances were purposively selected. The school heads of those schools automatically qualified as participants of the study. Six teachers out of 36, two from each school, (one male one female) were purposively selected to take part in the study. Six rural girl-learners, out of 32 rural girl learners who walk long distances to and from school each day, were randomly selected using the hat system. The qualitative research method was used with phenomenology being chosen as the research design. Interviews were used to collect data from the school heads, teachers and the girl learners. Observation and document analysis were also used for data triangulation. A number of findings emanated from this study. It was noted that rural girl learners mostly arrive at school tied and dirty ad are ever absent at school. The study also found out that sexual child abuse was common to which the girls are exposed to along the way, to-and-from school resulting in unwanted pregnancies. The study concluded that the community in general, and parents of affected girls in particular, the government and other responsible authorities, including the girls themselves should collaborate to address the challenges. The study recommended that funding should be availed towards construction of satellite schools in Gokwe South District in Zimbabwe.