Chitura and Manyanhaire
Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies Vol. 3 (1), pp. 019-023, March 2015.
Manuscript Number: 012315018
Female Participation in Mathematics and Statistics Programmes by Open & Distance Learning: Challenges and Experiences
Chitura Miriam1 Manyanhaire Itai Offat2
1Senior Lecturer Health Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology; the Zimbabwe Open University. Email: miriamchitura @ yahoo.com
2Senior Lecturer, Geography and Environmental Studies; the Zimbabwe Open University.
Email: offatmanya @ yahoo.com
Corresponding Author’s Email: miriamchitura @yahoo. com.
Address: 22 Houghton Park Road Waterfalls, Harare. Tel: 263-04-781124
Completion rate for female students on the Bachelor of Science Degree programme in Mathematics and Statistics is lower than that of their male counter-parts at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). A cross-sectional survey was conducted to establish the challenges and experiences of female students on an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Mathematics and Statistics programme. Data was collected using questionnaires to tutors and students.
Registration documents were reviewed to ascertain enrolment ratios for males versus female. Pass and failure rates were analysed as well as student completion rates by gender.
Female participation is low on the ZOU, ODL Mathematics and statistics programme. It appears drop-out rate is high resulting in low completion rate. Female students experience frustrations as they try to accomplish academic goals, and at the same time, fulfill their social obligations. The findings indicated the need to examine potential gaps between the inputs of instructor and those of the learner created in part, by gender issues. . The professional and technical support female students receive as they proceed with their studies is key to enrolling and completion of the BSc Mathematics and Statistics programme by ODL.
Key words: completion rate, open distance learning, female, participation.
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