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Tourism and academic attainment: examining the role of tourism on academic performance of secondary school pupils in Victoria Falls. A case study of Mosi-oa-Tunya High School, Zimbabwe

Author: 
Ndondo Shepherd and Masocha Gerald
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. As a result of the labour intensive nature of this industry, school children also provide essential services in this service industry. The purpose of this study was to get the stakeholders’ views on how tourism affects pupils’ academic performance at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School in Victoria Falls. A sample of thirty-four respondents was purposively selected from Mosi-oa-Tunya High School community. This sample included ten Ordinary level pupils, ten Advanced level pupils, six teachers with one teacher per form selected from form one to six, five parents/ guardians and three workers employed in the tourism industry. The questionnaire was used to collect data from pupils and the interviews were used for teachers, parents and workers in the tourism industry. The research explored the positive and negative effects of tourism towards the academic performance of secondary school pupils at Ordinary and Advanced levels. The research identified positive factors like employment opportunities, income generation, attachment vacancies and cultural exchange. The negative effects that were observed include absenteeism from school, lack of concentration as a result of long working hours, drug abuse, school drop-outs and prostitution. The study recommends provision of guidance and counseling to pupils, working with employers in tourism to discourage child labour and engagement of non-governmental organizations for the provision of reproductive health to pupils.

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