An investigation into the causes and solutions for the high dropout rate among the San children in formal schools - a case study of the Omaheke Region in Namibia
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School dropout is a global challenge with serious negative repercusions for the socioeconomic well-being of individuals as well as for the entire society. Studies and official statistics indicate that many San learners in the Omaheke region, Namibia, drop out of school in high numbers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reasons that contribute to many San learners dropping out of primary and secondary schools in the Omaheke region, Namibia. The study adopted a qualitative approach, following a case study research design. The study employed a non-probability sampling design and utilised purposive sampling in the selection of participants. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews, focus group discussion, and analysis of available documents. The findings of the study revealed that there are a variety of factors that contribute to the high school dropouts of San learners. Some of the causes included the inability of the San parents to afford the school-related expenses, ignorance on the importance of education, poor parental involvement in education, early courting and teenage parenthood, inability to handle transition from primary to secondary schools, and an unwelcoming school environment which is irresponsive to the cultural and living realities of the San population and in addition characterised by bullying and ridicule of San learners. The study recommended an intersectoral approach to address the school dropout challenge. It proposed among others the strengthening of the existing livelihood programs to improve the socio-economic conditions of the San population, the establishment of programs to build the self-esteem and resilience of San children from younger ages, and the creation of a conducive school environment that is friendly and culturally responsive to the needs of the San children.