Cause and effect of Students ’attitude towards science options in selected Dar es salaam Secondary schools

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University of Dar es Slaam
The study investigated factors contributing to the attitudes of students towards avoidance of science subjects in secondary schools. The study was specifically guided by the research objectives which focused on the extent to which the influence of significant others, motivational factors and students’ anxiety contribute to the avoidance of science subjects in Tanzania’s secondary schools, using Dar es Salaam as a case study. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were employed. The multiple methods of data collection used include questionnaires, interviews, Focus Group Discussion and documentary review. Five secondary schools with both O-level and A-level science streams in Dar-es-Salaam region were involved. The purposively sampled were Benjamin William Mkapa (A), Jangwani Girls (B), Azania Boys (C), St. Anthony (D) and Jitegemee (E). The population sample consisted of 200 students, 30 teachers, five academic masters, 12 parents and two statistical officers from Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and University of Dar-es-Salaam.The study findings show that influence from parents, peers and teachers contribute to the avoidance of science subjects by students. It was learnt that the majority of the students’ parents, peers and teachers have negative attitude towards science subjects and therefore contributed to the students avoidance of science subjects. In addition, the work environment for most of the science-based professions was comparatively poor and most scientists worked under risky environment. Poor Level of priority for science students in joining higher level institutions and inadequate availability of career opportunities for science subjects graduates also, contribute to the avoidance of science subjects by students. Furthermore, findings of the study show that perceptions of difficulty inherent to students, students’ poor capability in science and poor performances in national examination results were other contributory factors to students avoidance of science subjects. The study therefore, urges the government to enhance various scientific fields to employ science graduates. These professionals should also get good salary packages and working tools, in addition to opportunity for career advancement. Administrators for higher learning institutions and colleges as well as policy-makers, should devise strategies to encourage more students to enroll in science subjects and courses. As such, policies and programmes should give first priority to science subjects’ students to make them develop interest in these subjects and courses.
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Science, Secondary school, Students, Dar es Salaam Secondary Schools, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mrosso, S. M (2011) Cause and effect of Students ’attitude towards science options in selected Dar es salaam Secondary schools. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.Available at