Rural School-Children Speak (RuSCS): The School-Children Narratives Of A ‘Caring’ School In Rural Contexts Of Lesotho And South Africa.

Fumane Khanare

The proposed study is located in debates emanating from the research focus referred to as “Rural Education”.  Rural education is an area of study that studies people living in rural contexts. There are many determinations of what is considered ‘rural’.  Both Lesotho (see Report on Youth and Adult Learning and Education in Lesotho) (OSISA, 2012) and South Africa (see Report of the Ministerial Committee of Rural Education (Department of Education, 2005) use locale codes to delineate among urban, peri-urban, rural districts and schools. The debate in the field is that rural communities offer many unique resources that can be leveraged to enhance care and support of school-children (Chikoko & Khanare, 2012; Moletsane, 2012). An important understanding is that research in the field needs to acknowledge the ‘dynamism’ of rural communities, including school-children as active agents in rural schools. The study is also located in debates on participatory research and schools as ‘centers of care and support’. This focus will enable the researchers to also examine a range of issues including mapping and mobilisation of resource in the rural schools; whole school relationships that promote care and support to school-children as well as ethical and methodological issues in researching children. More broadly by employing participatory visual methods, a high value is placed on enabling participation even where words are not easy to articulate. The study prioritizes school-children’s voices in relation to care and support.