Persistent dropout in rural community secondary schools in Tanzania: A case of Makete district.

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Mzumbe University
This study examined persistent dropout in rural ordinary level community secondary school in Makete District Council. Specifically the study focused at factors for school dropout, strategies employed to overcome the problem, effectiveness of the employed strategies and viable measures so as to eliminate the problem. The study adopted a mixed method design, targeting secondary school students in Makete district. A sample size of 167 respondents was drawn by using cluster, snowball and purposive sampling techniques. Observation, interview, questionnaire and focus group discussion methods were used to collect primary data while documentary review was used for collecting secondary data. Collected data were further coded and analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS Version 20) for tables and figures presentations. The study discovered that economic factors other than poverty and parents/guardians‟ negative attitudes towards secondary education are the main factors for school dropout in Makete district. Tree farming as the chief economic activity enable people to earn a lot of money after timber harvesting and later transform its capital into business activities. These activities influences students to dislike school and see that secondary education as wastage of time and so decide to quit school so as to fully engage in these activities for generating money. Parents/guardians also believe that investing in secondary education is the wastage of their money and time, regarding tree farming and business as the sounding inheritance to their children, and so most of them convince students to quit school. Legal authorities arrested parents/guardians who hid and forced students to quit school together with sending the dropouts back to school. These strategies were less successful as students continued to drop out of schools. The study recommends that there is a need of improving free secondary education, improvement of teaching and learning environment, provision of education on the importance of investing in human capital and general protection of children‟s rights especially that of education.
A dissertation submitted to the faculty of social science in partial fulfilment of the requirements for award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Education (MAED) of Mzumbe University.
Student dropout, Child labour, Orphan