The US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are two principal classifications of factors which contribute to students dropping out of school. These are financial and social. The NCES also reports that the rates of dropouts have been increasing over the last decade. For example, between 1992 and 2002, the status rate which is the rate of students dropping out without completing school increased from 14.6 to 22.5 per cent. In South Africa, the high rate of university dropouts, which was at 11.2 per cent in 2008, is deemed to be a monumental threat to the future of the country. This is the situation in many countries.There are two main types of data that will be collected for this research. These are primary and secondary data. The former will be collected through structured interviews with key respondents such as school principals, district education officers, lecturers, tutors, mentors, students and other key people in the ministry involved with education, interviewer observation and field notes. Focus discussion groups (FDGs) may also be held to get insight on what are the reasons for this phenomenon. FDGs involve having the researcher as the facilitator or moderator as the group discusses the factors that lead to dropouts and initiatives that can be implemented to help curb this. The FDGs will mostly comprise of students in higher education institutions and recent graduates. The ideal age would be between 18-26 years. Secondary data will be collected from reflexive journals, analysis of published and unpublished documents and reports and also other data that will be relevant to this study.A research question can be defined as the question or questions posed that the research answers. It is usually a broad-based inquiry that is made as an open-ended question rather than a closed-ended question, unless for a specific reason, a closed-ended research question is needed . It is referred to as the thesis statement at the undergraduate level. Developing a research questions is one of the first steps taken by a researcher. To develop a strong research question, the researcher needs to brainstorm to identify the underlying themes of the research and then use these to develop several research questions and by tabling the pros and cons of each question, the researcher is able to choose the best questions which the research will answer.Among the elements of a research question, it must be useable, accurate and
Andrews, R. (2003). Research questions. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Sue, J., Price, C. J., & Straker, L. (1998). The researching therapist: a practical guide to planning, performing, and communicating research. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.
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