Accountability of school stakeholders in ensuring orphaned children’s school attendance

11 Dec 2019

BACKGROUND : In recent years, there appears to have been more interest than ever in the education of orphaned children, especially in terms of their school attendance. Although some studies have reported on the efforts of caregivers, teachers, government, Non-Governmental Organisations and others in providing the educational needs of orphaned learners, little is known about accountability in terms of their school attendance. AIM : The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of school stakeholders on managing the school attendance of orphaned learners. SETTING : This research study was conducted in three primary schools with large numbers of orphaned children and high rates of absenteeism in a district in the Limpopo province, South Africa. METHODS : A qualitative approach was adopted, using semi-structured interviews to collect data from nine participants who were identified through purposive sampling. The participants were class teachers, life orientation teachers and teachers responsible for orphaned learners. RESULTS : The findings reflect that there is a lack of material resources and emotional support, physical and sexual abuse, little moral responsibility, few family values and inadequate use of resources provided by government and Non-governmental organizations to support the education of orphaned children. CONCLUSION : In this article, the researchers argue that the provision of material resources and emotional needs alone do not fully address the problem of the school absenteeism of orphaned learners and suggest a combined accountability of, and consequential measures for, school stakeholders in ensuring the school attendance of orphaned children.