MITIGATING ACADEMIC UNDERACHIEVEMENT OF VULNERABLE LEARNERS IN LESOTHO HIGH SCHOOLS
Central University of Technology Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The concept of academic vulnerability has not been meaningfully explored in the school leadership literature. Addressing vulnerability requires self-motivated, compelling and innovative leaders who are acutely aware of the daily teaching and learning challenges vulnerable learners face. This qualitative case study sought to explore strategies for School Management Teams (SMTs) to mitigate the academic underachievement of vulnerable learners in Lesotho high schools. The paper employs Contingency Theory as its theoretical lens and the data was analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Empirical data were collected from one purposefully selected Lesotho high school. The research participants included vulnerable learners, SMT members and teachers who were probed on academic vulnerability during in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that employing innovative strategies to address the academic challenges vulnerable learners face inspire their confidence and resilience to excel. Additionally, clear academic plans and vulnerability management policies are required to improve academic underachievement. The paper proposes context-specific strategies tailored to the tangible needs and experiences of vulnerable learners to improve their academic achievement.
Keywords: Management, academic underachievement, vulnerable learners, contingency theory, qualitative, critical discourse analysis.