Teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards female heads of schools in Shinyanga municipality primary schools, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study assessed the attitudes of teachers and students towards female heads of primary schools in Shinyanga municipality involving eleven primary schools. The objectives of the study included focusing on the extent to which female heads of the schools are acceptable to teachers and students in primary schools. It investigated the working interaction between the female school heads of primary schools with teachers and students by identifying gender related constraints that face female heads of primary schools in their leadership. The study sample consisted of a total of eleven (11) female heads of primary schools, 66 teachers and 110 students. The respondents were selected by using stratified random sampling and purposively sampling procedures. The study used mixed-methods where the methods used to collect data were interview, questionnaire and focused group discussion. Data collected were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative data were subjected to content analysis, while quantitative data were extracted, classified and computed into sums and percentages using Excel and then presented in Tables. The study findings revealed that despite that most of teachers demonstrate negative attitude towards female heads of schools, most of the students had positive attitude towards female school heads. Moreover, the majority of the students responded positively to the school head‟s directives contrary most of teachers who found to ignore female heads of schools directives and commands. However, the study showed that despite that, female school heads had good interaction with teachers and students and involved teachers in decision making through school baraza, meetings and school committees but students were rarely involved. It was also revealed that female school heads faced several constraints in the process of executing managerial roles such as: less respect from male subordinates, cultural barriers cherished that females cannot be leaders, lack of managerial training and skills and multiple roles they had as mothers as well as administrators. Based on the research findings it was concluded that most of teachers and few students still perceive female school heads as weak and therefore, could not manage primary schools. This clearly shows that the community still believes that female leaders are inferior to male teachers. Thus, teachers seem to hold a belief that female are not capable of managing primary school something which made teachers sometimes not receive female school heads‟ directives. They still stuck to the stereotypical notion that males make better leaders than females. The study recommended, that teachers should be encouraged to respect female school heads and gender equity should be established its roots from and in the community. There is also a need to provide seminars/workshops for both female and male school heads, improve their performance in management. Leadership training to female heads of schools and other teachers is inevitable.
: Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB2831.926.T34K55)
School principals, Primary schools, Shinyanga municipality, Tanzania
Kimola, P. (2015).Teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards female heads of schools in Shinyanga municipality primary schools, Tanzania, Master dissertation, university of Dar es Salaam.