This study has been restricted to a particular primary school in Wolwekraal village in
the northwest of Mpumalanga province. The aim of the study was to assess how the
absence of parents affects the school life of their children.
The majority of the residents in Wolwekraal have migrated from the farms such as
Witbank, Bronkhorstspruit, Delmas and Cullinan (which were known as Ekangala) in
Mpumalanga and some of them came from places such as Winterveld in the former
Bophuthatswana and Walmansthal. This village has a population of 7577 and consists
of the Bapedi and Amandebele people. Most of the parents are working far from
home in the towns such as Pretoria, Groblersdal and Marble Hall. Their children are
left home-alone, they are self-caring and others are supervised by their brothers and
Data has been collected through ethnography because the participants were observed,
interviewed and responding to the questionnaires. An audio tape recorder was used to
record the proceedings of the research and to enable the researcher to observe the
reactions of the interviewees.
The research was based on the academic performance of the latchkey learners in
Wolwekraal therefore the participants were latchkey learners, their parents and
educators of these learners. These learners were observed at home and at school.
According to the researcher’s findings, educators’ experiences problems of learners’
absenteeism and homework not done, untidiness and disturbing the classroom.
Parents are not involved in their children’s school activities because they are absent
from home. These learners are doing the house chores by themselves and they stay
without meals for days.
The recommendations are made to improve the situation of the latchkey learners and
encourage the involvement of parents in the school life of their children.
Thesis (M.Tech. degree in Education)--Tshwane University of Technology 2006