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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


DU TOIT-BRITS, Charlene  and  ROODT, Cindy. Teaching-learning factors contributing to student dropout in TVET Colleges. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2017, vol.57, n.2-2, pp.627-648. ISSN 2224-7912.

Technical and Vocational education and training in South Africa is influenced by a variety of factors. The increase in student numbers as a result of social, political, demographic as well as economic tendencies puts pressure on TVET Colleges to maintain a better throughput rate in order to deliver a larger potential workforce to the economy. Over the past two decades, enrolment at TVET Colleges has exploded, as vocational education has become a "sector of choice" for lower socio-economic ("under-represented" student) groups, since this will afford them an opportunity of furthering their studies. Taking into account this increase in student numbers, the following question may well be posed: How many of these students complete their studies successfully, and what can be regarded as teaching-learning factors possibly contributing to student dropout? Student dropout and the effects thereof are crucial in Higher Education, but more specifically in TVET Colleges. No single factor can guarantee academic success and/or throughput, since academic achievement depends on a combination of factors. Consequently, in the researchers' opinion, in order to limit student dropout it is essential to identify specific factors which may contribute to student dropout from TVET Colleges. Based on information available in the body of literature, and the lack of information directly related to the perceptions of students pertaining to potential factors contributing to student dropout, the problem statement and aims of this study are to investigate possible factors contributing to student dropout in a TVET College. In an attempt to solve this intellectual riddle while bearing in mind naturalistic generalisation, the researchers decided to perform a qualitative study. Participants were not observed in experimental situations, but semi-structured individual interviews were conducted within the natural environment of the participants, as part of a case study. The researchers approached the research from an interpretivistic paradigm, utilising non-probability as well as probability samples. The researchers presented an integrated interpretation of key findings, and concluded that factors possibly contributing to student dropout cannot be attributed to a single, isolated aspect only, but to a group of connected and logical factors. Considering teaching-learning factors which may influence student dropout with Level 2 Primary Agriculture students, college management, programme developers and lecturers should bear the following in mind: • the personality identity of students and lecturers; • the type of academic support which could be made available to students within and outside the classroom; • knowledge and skills of lecturers pertaining to subject content; • motivation for students to complete their studies, driven by a specific community, from within the family, and also from lecturers involved.

Keywords : Students; Colleges; Student dropout; Teaching-learning factors; Academic achievement.

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