Classroom factors that influence teacher-pupil interaction in Kibamba primary schools, Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to examine classroom factors that influence teacher-pupil interaction in Tanzania’s public primary schools, using Kibamba ward in Dar es Salaam region as a case study. Kibamba ward was purposively selected because of the rapid pupil enrolment expansion under the Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP), which has swelled the numbers of pupils per class. The study was carried out in all four public primary schools found in the ward, which were also purposively selected to ensure full coverage. A sample of 253 respondents drawn from the selected ward was made up of head teachers, primary school teachers, primary school pupils as well as the Ward Education Officer. These respondents were drawn using simple random, stratified and purposive sampling techniques. The study used the questionnaire, interviews and observation to collect requisite data. The study established that there were large classes and a high teacher-pupil ratio in the schools under study and this undermined class interaction between the teacher and pupils. Consequently, these large classes compounded the problem of the deficit of desks and teaching and learning materials such as textbooks, maps, atlases and charts. Also, the teachers were found to engage in only few learning activities in attempts to minimise the marking burden. It was also established that large classes increased the likelihood of pupils completing primary education without knowing how to read and write. Other problems noted in the study associated with large classes include failure by teachers to apply effective class management styles and class control and failure to integrate different learner-centred interactive activities. As a result, the large classes were teacher-centred and dominated by the teachers, contrary to the stipulation of the competence-based curriculum. Even when there were adequate numbers of teachers, the scarcity of classrooms forced teachers to teach in large classes. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that the government should ensure that the increase in pupil enrolment is accompanied by a concomitant increase in the number of classrooms so as to reduce class sizes and bring down the high teacher-pupil ratio. Teachers should adopt classroom management styles which stimulate participation and pupils’ involvement into learning process as the way of handling different pupils’ disruptive behaviour and stimulate learning in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers should be encouraged and motivated to be innovative and creative by using locally available materials to improvise teaching-learning materials and reduce shortage of such essential aids. The government, on its part, should allocate adequate funds for buying textbooks for primary schools and institute the recommended 1:1 pupil-book ratio for enhanced classroom interaction and a well-facilitated teacher-student-subject-matter interactivity. The study as well, will serve as reference for further study.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB1033.T34M3252)
Teacher-student relationships, Classroom environment, Kibamba primary schools, Primary shools, Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania
Mbano, S. E. (2015) Classroom factors that influence teacher-pupil interaction in Kibamba primary schools, Dar es Salaam, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam