The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership: M.S.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

John Eller

Third Advisor

Cary Martin

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Drop out, Factors, Rural, Primary School, Female, Malawi


Factors Influencing Rural Female Pupils Drop Out from Primary Schools, in Nkhata-Bay South District, Malawi

Grace C. Gondwe

The problem of the study was to identify factors influencing rural female pupils drop out from primary schools, in Nkhata-Bay south district, Malawi. The research objectives sought to establish the school related factors and out of school factors influencing rural female drop out.

To generate and refine the study ideas literature review was essential. The reviewed literature includes different studies focusing on female dropout. The study was based on two theories of motivation: Bernard Weiner’s attribution theory and Abraham Maslow’s theory on human motivation.

The study adopted qualitative research design with some basic descriptive results in the form of frequency counts. The target population was rural female primary school dropouts and the study involved thirteen participants. Purposeful sampling and snowballing sampling were used to select the participants for the study.

The instrument used to collect data was semi-structured interviews which was done through Skype technology. For refinement and validation, the interview protocol was piloted on five rural primary school dropouts from a different area with similar characteristics as the study area.

The study data was analyzed by coding and grouping the emerging themes. The researcher translated all data into English from Chichewa, which was the language used during data collection.

The study revealed the following school related factors that influenced dropping out; poor academic performance, grade repetition, overcrowded classroom and teacher’s absenteeism. Pupils’ own lack of interest in school, lack of financial support due to poverty, pregnancy, early marriage and taking care of sick relatives were out of school factors that the study established.



First of all, I give tribute and thank GOD for making all good things happen in my life. My sincere acknowledgement goes to my advisor, Frances Kayona, for her exceptional guidance and vital comments during the whole research period. Thank you, Frances for your inspiration and advice throughout my study. Your guidance and open mindedness has taught me a lot. YOU ARE THE BEST EVER.

My special thanks goes to my committee members John Eller and Cary Martin. I am grateful for the valuable feedbacks and contributions.

I would like to thank FULBRIGHT through the IIE, for awarding me a scholarship that funded my studies.

I also wish to thank all the participants for their cooperation and participation in the study. Deep appreciation goes to my family and friends for their great assistance, love and encouragement during my study.



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