Multiple role navigation by working -student mothers at Makerere University, Uganda
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This study investigated how working-student mothers navigate their multiple roles to accomplish their studies at the Department of Adult and Community Education in the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University-. It had the following specific objectives:(i) To assess working-student mothers’ motivations, expectations, and challenges as students pursuing studies at Makerere University; (ii) To document working-student mothers’ experiences in navigating their multiple roles while studying at Makerere University; and (iii) To explore working-student mothers’ resilience mechanisms to the challenges faced. A cross-sectional qualitative research design was adopted using focus group discussions and interviews to collect the data. Purposive sampling was used in the selection of 5 key informants and 40 study participants who included (BACE and MACE working-students mothers). The data was analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings revealed that working student mothers had both internal and external motivations as well as short and long-term expectations out of their studies. Working-student mothers experienced administrative, economic, social, and technological challenges most of which were linked to academic, their multiple roles and responsibilities in their family, and employment life. Different mechanisms were adopted to cope with challenges they faced. It was concluded that the motivations, expectations, and challenges should not be regarded as modest attributes that characterize students; social, economic, and general well-being but an essential indicator of the zeal to be hardworking and resourceful in society and their families. It was recommended that management of Makerere University particularly at the department level should implement the provisions of the university policy on adult students enrolling for BACE and MACE programs, infrastructural developments (resting and breastfeeding rooms) should be established and equipped with needed materials; counseling and guidance services should be provided by professionals who do not double as lecturers and that the department should develop better ICT infrastructure to support efforts of BACE and MACE program working-student mothers.