ASSESSING THE CHALLENGES FACED BY FEMALE STUDENTS IN OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING (ODL) INSTITUTIONS .A CASE OF THE ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY (MATABELELAND SOUTH REGION).

Author's Name: Dr. Dingindawo Ncube & Dr. Thizwilondi Josephine Mudau
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Education
Section Research Paper

Keyword:

Open and Distance Learning, Challenges and female students


Abstract

The study sought to assess the challenges faced by female students in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the Zimbabwe Open University’s Matabeleland South Region .It was prompted by the popularity and opportunities ODL has created for women who are usually constrained to attend conventional institutions of Higher Learning. The study was anchored on the liberal feminism. A mixed method paradigm was used and the questionnaire and interview techniques were used for data collection. Thirty (30) students participated in the study. Data was presented in tables (quantitative) and in narrative form (qualitative).The study revealed that female students in ODL face challenges which include shortage of modules, unavailability of tutors, time and financial resources due to biased decision making at family level. As a result of these challenges female students in ODL submit assignments late, fail to attend tutorials and perform poorly in examinations leading to delayed completion of their studies. The study recommend that female students in ODL be given extended time to submit their work (assignments and research projects), they be offered scholarship and bursaries and that campaigns be launched to conscientise society in general and men in particular to give equal opportunities and resources to both the boy and the girl children in all their life endeavors including education.

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