Physical education in secondary schools in Tanzania: from curriculum content to practice, challenges and prospects

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
Although Physical education (PE) is part of the curriculum for secondary education in Tanzania, students’ performances in PE were not encouraging, the PE objectives have not been achieved and there were limited studies on its implementation. The purpose of this study was to analyse the content, examine the pedagogical practice and to ascertain the inherent challenges in PE for secondary schools. The objectives were 1) to analyse the curriculum content of PE for secondary schools, 2) to examine teaching and learning resources for successful implementation of PE in secondary schools, and 3) to examine the pedagogical practices of PE in secondary schools. 4) to explore the perceptions of students, PE teachers, heads of school and education officers about PE for secondary schools in Tanzania. 5) To find out challenges of PE content and its pedagogic practice in secondary schools. The qualitative research approach based on case study design was adopted in this study. The participants in this study were 120 students, 4 PE teachers, 11 heads of schools and 3 education officers. Methods used for data collection were documentary analysis, interviews, focus group discussion and lesson observations. Content and descriptive data analysis approaches were used in this study. The results obtained revealed that 1) the content in PE syllabus comprises of multi-activities and goals which reflect individual, society and policy demands. 2) Most schools lacked high quality teaching resources for effective implementation of PE, such as qualified PE teachers, sport equipment and facilities, text books, teachers’ guides and instructional time. 3) Physical education was inconsistently implemented because of multiple reasons. 4) Physical education was considered as an important subject based on its content and its perceived benefits, but it was accorded low priority because of being an optional subject. 5) The results also showed that there were multiple challenges threatening PE and its implementation. The implications of different perceptions and challenges were reflected in students’ enrolment rate; drop out and in the pedagogical practice. This study informs the public and PE practitioners about the content, pedagogical practices and challenges of PE and serves as a guide for initiatives taken to improve policy, curriculum content and pedagogical practices. The suggestions provided are associated with the policy, curriculum content, teaching and learning resources and pedagogical practice for promotion of students’ enrolment, successful implementation and achievement of PE goals were provided. Furthermore, this study paves a way for further studies in PE at all levels of education in Tanzania.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF GV361.T34M371)
Sports, Physical education, Universities
Marwa, D.J (2015) Physical education in secondary schools in Tanzania: from curriculum content to practice, challenges and prospects. Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.