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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

CHIGONA, Agnes  and  CHETTY, Rajendra. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.2, pp. 261-281. ISSN 0256-0100.

While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are 'othered' and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. Our aim was to find out how much support was offered to these girls to facilitate their schooling, thus making it possible for them to complete their education and become self-reliant. A qualitative research approach was employed to gather information for the study. Teen mothers, their educators, and parents were interviewed to gather information about the girls' schooling situation. The results showed that many teen mothers failed to succeed with schooling because they lacked support to avoid the numerous disruptions to school attendance.

Keywords : challenges; othered; schooling; South Africa; support; teenage motherhood.

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