Education and training policy and access to education for most vulnerable children in children care centres in Hai District, Tanzania

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Mzumbe University
This study focused on assessing the implications of the Education and Training Policy in access to primary education for most vulnerable children (MVC) in children care centres in Hai district, Tanzania. The study assessed community knowledge of the MVC in children care centres, ways through which education is provided to the MVC, how the policy has improved access to primary education for the MVC, and influencing factors. The study employed a case study method and engaged 137 respondents who were selected by using purposive sampling and simple random techniques. Data were collected by using interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires and documentary review and analysed through Microsoft excel and presented in table, quotations and percentages. Findings show that respondents had high level of awareness about MVC in children care centres as they were well informed about it; knew about availability of MVC; could distinguish MVC from non MVC; and identified the children care centers. Primary education to the MVC was provided through extra curriculum trainings, enrolment of the most vulnerable children in nearby public schools, engagement of donors, exclusion from mandatory contributions, and continuation from ended classes. It was found that since the introduction of the children care centres there has been more achievements in educational status of the MVC. The achievements are life skills acquisition; decrease of truants in schools; unsegregational learning environment; integrated funding; increase of education facilities, number of MVC in secondary and technical trainings increase; and improvement of self-identification ability among MVC. The failures are insufficient education privileges to MVC, failure of the MVC to cope with their original families when back home, and inadequate donations and supports as needs are many. Access facilitating factors are short distance to schools, availability of donors, children care centres' own financial capacity, stigmatization free environment, good conduct of care givers, integration of the most vulnerable and non vulnerable children in school, good educational infrastructures and lastly support from village government. The limiting factors are insufficiency of teachers trained on special needs education, lack of good community participation, land insufficiency and hidden indirect objectives of the children care centres. To enhance education for the MVC there is need for increasing number of qualified teachers for children with special needs, promote community participation, look for more spaces for building children care centres and schools, and promote good governance among stakeholders.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Policy (MSc. DP) of the Mzumbe University
education, children, Education and Training Policy, children care, schools