Student dropout a cause for concern in ODL: A case of ZOU Midlands Region 2007 to 2013.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing to the student dropout rate in ZOU Midlands region. The participants, namely lecturers, students and support staff were purposefully selected, commensurate with the qualitative research design which was employed in this research. Data were collected using face to face interviews, focus groups and document analysis. The research revealed a number of factors that led to student dropout. These included lack of guidance and counselling services, domestic problems, financial constraints, lack of course materials and negative attitudes towards ODL programmes, prompting the students to dropout. It also emerged from the empirical findings of the study those other factors, such as failure to adjust to the ODL mode of delivery, the demands of the programmes, health problems, bereavement, lack of discipline and work related demands, contributed to dropout. Suggestions and recommendations made included coming up with a clear counselling policy, government providing cadetship schemes to ODL students and ZOU promptly providing all course materials as soon as the student registers. Rigorous marketing of ZOU programmes was further recommended, as well as including research methods as a compulsory module in all programmes as a way of equipping students to handle research projects.

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[DR. KUREBWA MERCY (2014); Student dropout a cause for concern in ODL: A case of ZOU Midlands Region 2007 to 2013. Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (6). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407).

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