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An exploration of social challenges encountered by learners in Mohlakeng Schools in Rand-west municipality in Gauteng province of South Africa.
There are countless social challenges in South African schools, such as poverty, violence, homeless, teen parenting, substance abuse, child abuse and youth suicide, which complicate learners’ efforts to learning. This study explored and described the social challenges that affect selected learners and their academic performance in Mohlakeng School in Rand-west municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. The study was positioned within an interpretivist paradigm using the qualitative research approach. The sample was fifteen (15) grade 11 and 12 learners from School in Mohlakeng and they were selected using non-probability purposive sampling. Data was collected using semi-structured telephonic interviews via an interview guide and analysed using the thematic data analysis method. Key findings in relation to the social challenges that learners experience that have an impact on their academic performance included academic challenges at school and unpleasant home circumstances. In terms of the coping strategies that learners adopted, the study found that learners did not have the necessary resources to cope, while others adopted various coping mechanisms. The key findings in terms of the support needs of learners were that 8 out of 15 learners needed extra academic support, 2 out of 15 learners thought about future prospects to deal with their social challenges, while for one participant it was important to mend family relationships and receive support from family. In terms of support, 9 out of 15 learners received support from families, while the other six participants did not receive support. These findings have implications for social work practice, the department of education, policy formation as well as future research.
Graduate unemployment: employment seeking experiences and perceptions of unemployed young graduates in townships of Johannesburg, South Africa.
The rate of youth unemployment in South Africa is among the world's highest, which has rapidly become a significant social issue affecting individuals and society at large. It is particularly worrying because historically disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected compared to other population groups. This study's aim is to contribute to existing literature on youth unemployment, focusing primarily on unemployed youth graduates. The primary objective is to investigate the experiences and perceptions of unemployed Black graduates residing in townships to explore their transition from university to the labor market despite having qualifications. Many young graduates believe that obtaining a tertiary qualification would guarantee job opportunities, but various challenges prevent some from joining the labor force. Although there is considerable literature on graduate unemployment, studies have largely overlooked the personal experiences and perceptions of graduates, particularly those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. In this study, the authors investigated the personal experiences of unemployed graduates to understand how internal and external factors interact with disadvantaged graduates, such as the type of qualification, geographical location, race, socioeconomic status, lack of skills and experience, lack of career guidance, and skill-labor market mismatch. The study utilized a qualitative method to collect data from fifteen Black unemployed graduates from various townships in Johannesburg. The candidates were actively seeking employment in various disciplines, particularly in the Humanities and Art, and were unemployed graduates aged 20-34. To gain a better understanding of the graduates' labor market experiences, an in-depth interview was conducted with each participant. The study found that despite actively seeking employment, the graduates' acquired qualifications did not match the skills required in the job market. Lack of experience and social networks were the leading reasons for their prolonged unemployment. The study also found that the lack of career guidance and social networks to link graduates to possible employment opportunities were some of the factors that delayed their entry into the labor market
A new world beyond boundaries: an exploration of virtual reality within drama therapeutic sessions by assessing role theory & method in correlation to avatars for clients displaying anxiety symptoms.
This paper explored virtual reality as a means of providing a Drama Therapy session, particularly using Role Method and Theory in correlation with the use of avatars. The research was intended for clients displaying anxiety symptoms or those diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and, as a result, are hindered by their symptoms from interacting with others. By engaging with several bodies of text, exploring Drama Therapy within virtual reality, particularly the use of avatars as roles, provided insight into building the client’s role repertoire. By looking at the different applications of VR across various fields such as the medical, psychotherapeutic and the rehabilitation field, an account of how VR has helped improve their practice was scrutinised under the lens of how it may be applicable within the Drama Therapeutic space using role theory and method. The paper also looked at the various physiological considerations that go into conducting a VR session. A 9-step process of VR was highlighted for the therapist to consider when using VR. The 8- step Role Method technique was used to highlight how a hypothetical nine-step Virtual Reality Drama Therapy (VRDT) session could occur. The application of VR from a South African context was scrutinised, taking into account aspects such as the socio-economic, historical and geographical factors that influence VR adoption in various practices.
Explicating audience engagement with political debates: a content analysis of the digital debate about youth unemployment on Daily Thetha Facebook page.
This study aims to explore the ways that young audiences of the television talk show Daily Thetha, interpret and construct meanings of political messages communicated on the show. The study seeks to achieve this by exploring the digital engagement patterns of audiences on the Daily Thetha Facebook page. The political topic chosen for the study is youth unemployment. For analysis purposes, the study uses five Daily Thetha episodes which discussed different facets of youth unemployment. The research questions central to this study are explored by analysing Facebook posts created for the episodes, as well as the comments under each post. The research data is analysed through content analysis. Both manifest and latent content analyses are used for data analysis. Research findings are presented and discussed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Television talk shows are a site for public discussions and the formation of public opinion. Habermas’ public sphere is a theoretical basis for debates and the formation of public discourse about societal issues. The freedom of the press as well as the freedom of expression of ideas are vital for democracy and are enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights. The media play a vital role in promoting and sustaining democracy in South Africa. The study based on how the television talk show Daily Thetha influences public debate among its young audiences is thus important to explore. Moreover, media audiences are heterogenous, thus, interpreting and engaging with media texts differently. Findings from this study demonstrated that Daily Thetha digital audiences can be classified as both active and passive readers. Moreover, findings also show that Daily Thetha Facebook page is characterised as a digital sub-public sphere and can be classified as a political, literal as well as a public cultural public sphere.
Creating interactive fiction as a medium of digital storytelling: a creative investigation of computer-based narrative construction
The dawn of the internet brought about a multitude of possibilities in the realm of storytelling. This meant utilizing digital-centric platforms to create stories that would enable the end-user to interact with them on digital interfaces. In the same vein, the advent of digital platforms opened more doors for creators to find interesting and innovative ways to create stories that broke the mold and provided new avenues of interpretation and exploration. Interactive fiction is one aspect of digital storytelling that gained momentum by opening channels for interactivity. The research explores interactive fiction storytelling through the lens of computer-based software program tools Twine, Ren’Py and hosted website domain to determine how the core tenets of interactive storytelling influence the experiences of both the user and creator, and to what degree. The core tenets to be explored in the research are divided into two areas: end-user specific tenets – Immersion, Integration, Interactivity, Impact - and author/creator tenets – Narrative Structure, Authoring Tools, Output Media, and Interface. I derived the end-user specific tenets from digital storytelling specialist Simon Heyes who laid out the core principles of digital storytelling. I extrapolated the author/creator tenets from SeokKyoo Kim, SungHyun Moon and SangYong Han who are specialists in the area of computer-based narrative construction systems and structures. These tenets form the framework of the research. The premise of this research is adopting a creative practice approach to delve into the creative investigation of computer-based narrative construction by creating interactive fiction as a medium of digital storytelling.