The Impact of Artisanal Mining on Career Development of Adolescents in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Artisanal mining, Adolescents, Career development, Child labour , Human rights, Child abuse, Safety
The research explored the impact of artisanal mining on the career development of adolescents at three selected schools in Imbizo District, Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. Interpretivism research philosophy was employed in the study, and a qualitative research method was used. The phenomenological research design was adopted for the study. The sample comprised fifteen school children aged between 14 to 20 years, and six teachers were selected from schools in Imbizo district in Bulawayo province, Zimbabwe, using purposive sampling. Due to COVID-19 regulations, interviews were telephonically, and focus group discussions were conducted online. Interviews were used to collect data from children, while focus group discussions were used to collect data from teachers. The findings revealed that causes of child involvement in artisanal mining include influence from society, poverty, drugs, adventure and the COVID-19 outbreak. The research findings revealed that child involvement in mining brought undesirable behavioural traits such as anti-social behaviour, poor academic performance, health and safety risks and different forms of abuse. Strategies suggested by teachers to mitigate child involvement in illegal mining encompassed legalising the small-scale mines, life skills education, educational support to all vulnerable children, community awareness campaigns, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government involvement. The children suggested that the government could help by providing them with basic needs like food and paying for their schools and stationery.
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