A Force–field Case Analysis of the Push and Pull Factors Affecting ZOU Students in Enrolling and Withdrawing in Mashonaland West and Manicaland regions

Emmanuel Chinamasa


The purpose of this study was to describe Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), Bed(EAPPS)
students’ background, identify push factors motivating them to register and establish anticipated
pull factors compelling these students to withdraw.
The study used a descriptive survey in which data was gathered from 48 students from Mashonaland
West and Manicaland regions using questionnaires. The study found that, the majority of students
are young primary school teachers studying by the distant learning mode for the first time. They are
motivated by the need for a degree, salary increase and promotional prospects. These motives are
promoted mainly by The Ministry of Education, the teachers main employer in Zimbabwe. Their
progress can be affected by poor performance as a result of improper study orientation, irrelevant
modules and costs. The study recommends serious student orientation, a review of modules, a
practical programme orientation and short courses to develop intrinsic motivation. The study fears
that if The Ministry of Education decided not to recognize ZOU degree qualifications, as it did for
TECHNKON university, then ZOU’s survival is threatened. Tutors can visit students at identified
rural centres to reduce travel costs and take ZOU to the people.

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