Academic Challenges of Student Mothers in Tertiary Education: Implication for Inclusiveness and Counselling

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Rowland Chukwuemeka Uwakwe, Mercy Ndidi Ofole, Chinyere Ori Elom, Mercy Benedette Ifeoma Uba, Solomon Onyinyechi A. Obih, Chikwendu Ugbogu, Francis Ato Otubo, Eunice Nnenna Eze


The study investigated the academic challenges of student mothers in tertiary education, its implication for inclusiveness and counselling. The study adopted the mixed-method design. The purposive and convenient sampling procedures were used to select 20 student mothers from Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ebonyi state Nigeria. Data were collected through focused group discussion and a semi-structured questionnaire. The study found that the majority of respondents go through serious academic challenges such as inability to attend lectures regularly because of tiredness, sickness of child, taking baby to the hospital and insufficient funding. To cope with the challenges respondents relied on paid house helps, keeping children at daycare centres, and relying on husbands and friends for support. The study recommended the Counselling Unit of the University to intensify education on inclusive practices, best motherhood practices and problem-focused coping strategies and for an inclusive approach through the provision of daycare centres and remedial school counselling services for student-mothers.

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