Social-emotional factors affecting the learning of orphaned primary school children in Tanzania: a study based on Dar es Salaam region

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University of Dar es Salaam
The main purpose of this study was to explore the social-emotional factors affecting the learning of orphaned primary school children in Tanzania, identifying primary schools in Dar es Salaam region for a case study. Through newspapers, radio and even the researcher's own experience, orphaned children have been observed to be among the deprived children who were not doing well in school, and also had other problems which were peculiar to them. The researcher was working on the assumption that lack of biological parental care and love have caused problems for the surviving children. Though the problem of orphans is not a new phenomenon in Tanzania, currently there are circumstances that have made this problem raise national concern. Historically, parents die because of natural disasters, illness, accidents war etc., but in most cases the extended family remaining behind was expected to take over responsibility for the child. But today the extended family has proved unable to cope with this responsibility due to the fact that the number of orphans is rapidly increasing largely because of many parents dying of AIDS. The result of this research has shown a combination of several social-emotional factors as well as other problems that affect the learning of orphaned children. Some of the social-emotional factors identified were fear, depression, withdrawal, while untidiness, health problems, and lack of important school requirements such as school uniforms were other problems that also affected this group of children. Many times in this study references have been made to orphaned children and guardians. These references may rightly be critisized on the grounds that some of the observations made are not peculiar to orphaned children alone since other children also encounter similar problems. However, since the focus of this study is on orphaned children, it is their plight that this study is concerned with. Teachers and guardians have made suggestions on alleviating the problems. Most of them ask the Ministry of Education and Culture to find appropriate ways of dealing with problems of orphaned children. It is also suggested to the social welfare department to establish a working unit, which would be responsible for imparting appropriate information to orphaned children, teachers and even guardians, on how to treat, consider and relate with these poor children. Lastly, the findings obtained from this study lead to several recommendations. The most significant are those which require the Ministry of Community Development, Women's Affairs and Children to review and amend, if necessary, outdated legal provisions and require guardians to be more responsible in the bringing up and caring for the orphaned. Lastly, areas for further research are suggested.
Available in print form
Orphans, Education, Primary education, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mnenge, A. K (1991) Social-emotional factors affecting the learning of orphaned primary school children in Tanzania: a study based on Dar es Salaam region, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )