Factors which influence students’ absenteeism and dropout in urban primary schools: case study of Iringa

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Date
1981
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The aim of the study was to establish extra-school factors which influence student absenteeism and dropout in urban primary schools. It was a case study based on Iringa town. The sample population involved in the study included 58 persistent absentees 67 regular school attenders, 21 dropouts, 7 parents of dropouts, 7 parents of regular school attenders, 6 parents of persistent absentees and 76 primary school teachers. The study involved comparing three student categories, namely persistent absentees, dropouts and regular school attenders with respect to factors which were hypothesized to be influencing absenteeism and dropout. The method employed was the survey approach making use of three data collection techniques namely documentary review, questionnaire and interview. The data collected was used to test the five previously set hypotheses and to obtain other pertinent information. The data obtained in the field confirmed all the five hypotheses on the relationship between absenteeism and dropout and family economic status; between absenteeism arid dropout among children and family ( parental ) educational level; between absenteeism and dropout and child's home living condition; between absenteeism and dropout among children and the nature of residential area in town; and between absenteeism and dropout among schools and the nature of their location in town. It was further found that the factor of persistent absenteeism among urban primary school children was related to: (i)Avoidance of manual work at school, {ii) Pupils joining groups of non-schooling peers involved in hooliganism and other delinquent actions, (iii) Pupils engaging in petty business in town, (iv) Uncertainty about salaried employment after completion of primary education. (v) Uncertainty about selection for further education after completion of primary education.(vi) Pupil hatred for school lessons. (vii.) Pupil withdrawal by their parents. The study established the following to be the causes of dropping out ( i) Pregnancy (ii} Hooliganism and juvenile delinquency. (iii ) Engagement in petty business in town ( iv ) Elopement (v) Strained relations between pupil and host-relative. The study revealed that parents send children to school with expectation that the schools would prepare the children for secondary education or for salaried employment after completion of primary schools. This study suggests that factors which influence absenteeism and dropout in urban primary schools are of economic, social and psychological nature. To reduce the present rate of absenteeism and dropouts the researcher suggests and recommends that: (i) The present primary school system should be reformed both in terms of length of course and curriculum content (ii) The Tanzania Parents Association should set national guidelines on child upbringing methods and (iii) The present regulation concerning-girls who become pregnant should be amended to allow for the reinstatement of girls sent away from school due to pregnancy.
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Keywords
Students, Education, primary, Absenteeism, Dropout, Tanzania
Citation
Kimaro, S. A. M (1981) Factors which influence students’ absenteeism and dropout in urban primary schools: case study of Iringa, Masters dissertation,University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx)