SA Journal of Education, Vol 44, No 2 (2024)

The philosophy of Ubuntu and academic achievement among secondary school learners: A case study in the Gweru district of Zimbabwe

N. Dube, P. Higgs


In the study reported on here we investigated the impact of Ubuntu on learner behaviour and academic achievement in secondary schools in the Gweru district of Zimbabwe. The study participants comprised 38 learners and 7 teachers from 4 secondary schools in the Gweru district. Data were collected through focus-group discussions, semi-structured interviews, participant observations and document analysis. We established that teachers and learners had a satisfactory understanding of how upholding values of Ubuntu contributed to academic achievement among learners. The findings reveal that in addition to other factors affecting academic achievement, like the school and home environment, learners who upheld the values of Ubuntu were disciplined, focused on their studies, and thus attained higher levels of academic achievement compared to learners who lacked Ubuntu and engaged in substance abuse, pre-marital sex, and lacked focus on their schoolwork. Based on the study we recommend that a course on Ubuntu be introduced in teacher training complemented by professional development workshops for teachers in the field to equip them with skills of integrating values of Ubuntu into the curriculum and thus foster the same among learners.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
N. Dube -
P. Higgs -

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