Systemic Obstacles Experienced by Teachers in Supporting Juveniles in Correctional Schools: A Wellness Perspective.

Cunthia Ntombi Nkosi and Magano Meahabo Dinah
University of South Africa


This study seeks to explore the views of challenges encountered by teachers who provide education to incarcerated juveniles in correctional schools. The wellness and ubuntu theories were used as a lens to understand the systemic obstacles that teachers are faced with, that obstruct them from providing support to juvenile learners taking into cognisance the learners’ wellness. The study is embedded in an interpretive paradigm and adopted the qualitative method. The researchers used the phenomenological approach to understand the academic wellness of the juvenile learners. The study was conducted at one of the Gauteng Province’s correctional centres in South Africa. Purposive sampling was used and two correctional school teachers who teach juvenile learners participated voluntarily in the study. Ethical considerations were taken into account and data was collected using the semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed that the support is insufficient as teachers reported that they were overwhelmed by the context of the correctional system as a whole. Some of the juveniles displayed poor performance and academic failure and had dropped out of school. Transfer of juvenile learners was also indicated as obstacles for teachers to promote the academic wellness of the juvenile learners. The study concludes with recommendations to ensure that teachers find ways to address the obstacles and that in-service training is provided for teachers to enhance the academic wellness of the juveniles.