Contributory Factors Affecting Level of Academic Performance

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FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TOWARDS POOR PERFORMANCE
OF GRADE 12 LEARNERS
AT
MANOSHI AND MOKWATEDI HIGH SCHOOLS
BY
MOKGAETSI SALOME RAMMALA
MINI-DISSERTATION
SUBMITTED IN FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE
MASTERS IN DEVELOPMENT
IN THE
FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT AND LAW
AT
TURFLOOP GRADUATE SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP
SUPERVISOR: MS. M. C. MODIPANE
DECEMBER 2009
DECLARATION
I declare that the dissertation hereby submitted to the Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership for the degree of MASTERS IN DEVELOPMENT has not previously been submitted by me for a degree at this or any other university, that it is my work in design and execution, and that all material contained herein has been duly acknowledged. ___________________ _________________

M.S. Rammala (Ms) Date
Student Number: 9434028
i
DEDICATION
This study is dedicated to my mother, the late Dinah Maboya. May her soul rest in peace. ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to express my thanks to the following people who helped to make the completion of this research possible:
• Ms Modipane M. C., My supervisor, is thanked for the assistance and support that she gave me during the research process and writing of this mini-dissertation. I thank her especially for her expertise that she generously shared with me and ensuring that we submit in time.

• Dr. Leketi Makalela for editing and proofreading my document within a few days despite his tight schedules and Dr R. V. McCabe who edited the final version. • Dr. J. Matshabaphala made himself available even during his leave and assisted me to locate some of the information that was used in this mini-dissertation. • Mr. Donald Mongoai assisted with technical layout of the dissertation. • Yvonne Rammala who gave her time to help in typing this document. • My special gratitude goes to my husband and children for their continued support and encouragement when I was disillusioned and wanted to quit my M. A. research project. • Malose Lekganyane for taking his time to assist with technical problems. • Finally, I want to thank the Almighty God for giving me the strength, wisdom and courage to persevere in the completion of this study. May the glory and honour be unto the Lord.

iii
Factors contributing towards poor performance of Grade 12 learners at Manoshi and Mokwatedi high schools
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing towards the poor performance of Grade 12 learners at two selected high schools, which fall within low quintiles in Limpopo Province. Specifically, the study focused on low Grade 12 outputs in relation to access to university. Due to the exploratory nature of the study and the holistic approach that was undertaken both the home and school environments were targeted as points of investigation.

Multiple methods of data collection were used. First, data were collected through individual interviews with learners, educators, principals, and parents. Second, an observation method was used to collect data, such as, time management by learners, their behavioral patterns inside and outside the classroom and in the schoolyard. Finally, document analysis was used to analyse the attendance and performance of learners on attendance registers, quarterly and half yearly schedules, and mark sheets.

Key findings of this research suggest that the home environment of learners is not educationally supportive due to poverty, which includes factors such as parents’ low-level of education, high unemployment rate, child-headed families, unpredictable home environment, emotional problems and issues relating to gender roles.

In the school environment, the study showed the following causative factors: lack of facilities, unavailable learner support materials, lack of discipline, English as a medium of instruction, heavy workload due to rationalisation and redeployment of educators, and confusion with regard to the application of the new curriculum (National Curriculum Statement). As a result, the...
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