Influence of secondary schools on the formation and promotion of students’ moral character in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study anchored on the argument that had secondary school in Tanzania employed and remain committed to students’ pro-character approaches there would not have been cases of students’ moral crisis in schools. The study sought to explore influence of secondary schools on formation and promotion of students’ moral character under three tasks. Firstly, explore the approaches used by schools to form and promote students’ moral character. Secondly, identify similarities and variations between secondary schools in moral obligation. Thirdly, explore major challenges faced by secondary schools in moral obligation. Literature was reviewed under both theoretical and empirical stances. In the former, various arguments on schools’ role in moral character formation and promotion were done. In the latter, survey of related studies was conducted, outside and within Tanzania and led to identification of knowledge gap. The study drew on interpretive paradigm. Thus it was qualitative in character and employed multiple case study strategy. A total of 54 participants were involved in the study including schools heads, parents, teachers and students. Data generation employed interviews, focus group discussion and documentary review. Data were analyzed and presented qualitatively by themes. It was found out that schools employed several approaches in forming and promoting students’ moral character. Except for a few, most approaches were heterogeneous, since their selection exclusively relied within individual school jurisdiction. Schools had a few similarities with regard to approaches they used. Schools’ capacity and commitment to students’ moral character varied as a function of managerial commitment, ownership, involvement of parents/guardians, school vision, and religious affiliation. Formation and promotion of students’ moral character was challenged by, among others globalization, poor parent support, presence of unauthorized hostels, teachers’ absenteeism and decline in teachers’ autonomy. The study recommends that schools should pay equal attention to pro-character approaches and character building as they do to academic undertakings. Parents should assume a proactive role in schools’ pro-character efforts, and use students’ character assessment records in students’ placement and selection.
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Student moral, Secondary schools, Tanzania
Mgonda, N. L (2010) Influence of secondary schools on the formation and promotion of students’ moral character in Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at