The effectiveness of centres for teenage mothers in addressing the problem of out of school girls: a case study of Dar es Salaam Youth Centre.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of centres for teenage mothers in addressing the problem of out of school girls. A case study of the Dar Es Salaam Youth Centre (DYC) was done. The Stufflebeam's model developed in 1971 was adopted to guide the study. The study involved 78 respondents which included teenage mothers at the DYC; teachers/instructors at the centre; parents or guardians of the teenage mothers who study at the DYC; teenage mothers who have graduated from the DYC and UMATI officials. Four research instruments were used in this study. They included structured questionnaires, direct observation, documentary review and interviews. Data collected were subjected to content analysis and presented in a tabular form. The findings revealed that the centre had introduced four programmes: primary school education; hotel management; and tailoring courses to cater for girls who were expelled from school due to pregnancies; and a peer counselling programme. The aim of the programmes was to enable girls who passed through the centre to be economically independent. The implementation of the programmes was not done as intended due to some factors: for example a lack of target group (there were not enough teenage mothers to form a class and therefore some other standard seven leavers joined the course}. There was some benefit in combining those girls because teenage mothers felt that they were able to work with others and it helped them to know that the knowledge and skills obtained from the centre could help them in their future lives. The study discovered that the DYC had no serious problem of teaching facilities. The centre was provided with enough teaching materials by donors of each program. It was only the tailoring program which was found to have scarcity of some materials for practicals, but it was not severe because no student failed to pursue practicals due to lack of materials. It was observed that all teachers were qualified and capable of doing their work. However, some problems such as student absenteeism, lack of support from teenage mothers parents and some girls dropping out of the centre were found to be hindering teachers from effectively doing their work. The findings revealed that graduates of the centre were not satisfied with the outcomes at the time when this study was conducted. All of the interviewed girls said that they had not attained their ambitions. However, they showed great hopes that the situation might change. They had very positive attitude towards their former centre and suggested some useful changes to be done at the DYC. For the advancement of the DYC recommendations were given such as to offer more vocational courses like masonry, electrical and carpentry. It was recommended that the organisers should note that girls can perform as well as boys not only in the domestic oriented courses but also in other courses. Further recommendations involved introduction of secondary education, which would be based at the centre. With regard to further research it was recommended that, a study could be done to find out how other dropouts, such as boys were helped in acquiring knowledge and skills. Focus should be on who the organisers are, what activities are done and the outcome of those activities for comparison purposes.
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Teenage mothers, Women, School dropouts, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mattao, M. M. (1998). The effectiveness of centres for teenage mothers in addressing the problem of out of school girls: a case study of Dar es Salaam Youth Centre. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (