The role of an approved school in rehabilitating juvenile delinquents: A case study of Irambo approved school in Mbeya district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The research is about the role played by an approved school in rehabilitating juvenile delinquents. The role of the approved school was considered as a problem because in a capitalist class society such as ours, there are unequal distribution of income, inequality of power and unemployment which load to social stratification. There are marked differences in material rewards between manual and non-manual jobs. The differences depend, substantially, an access to higher education which at present, faces considerable competition. The youths become deviant due to frustration of some type and run into trouble when in serch of basic needs denied them by the society. The solution to this problem appears to lie with the approved school. But adaptation and change involved finding solutions to various problematic issues found in our social structure. The problem was : Given the dual objectives of the approved school: to fulfil education for self – reliance objectives in general and to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents of the approved school in particular, the problem of this research is the way in which the school has organized itself (form and content) to achieve these objectives. The expectations and their findings are as delineated hereunder. 1. Trainers consider delinquents are due to faulty parental-care. The findings showed that the contributory causes of delinquency are centred on the parents. This was revealed by the techniques which the trainers use in behaviour modification. Also the internal criteria for character assessment suggest that the individual is to blame for the misdeeds due to faulty upbringing. 2. The school concentrates more on rehabilitation than in classroom work and other activities. Table 9.3 shows the preferences of inmates to school practices. The results reveal that teachers should increase their effort in classroom activity. Also the number of teachers when compared with that of the social workers is in the ratio of 5:11 which further suggests that much weight is put on activities other than teaching. 3. Behaviour modification is not measured in terms of the village community where the delinquent is heading to. An examination on the criteria for character evaluation showed that the assessment is based on the inmates response to the approved school’s demands such as attitude to work, behaviour towards trainers and fellow inmates, classroom attendance, etc. 4. Most of the delinquents will show town-origin. The results revealed that 65.7% of the inmate respondents live in urban areas. The results suggested that either the youths in urban areas are more prone to committing offences than those in rural areas or offences committed in rural areas are settled in a different way other than the courts of law. 5. The majority of delinquents will expect to get wage-employment when they complete primary seven. The majority of the respondents showed that they would like to become wage-earners rather than farming which is the base of our economy. (see table 9.2 on page 112). 6. Villagers around the school content that some delinquents behave anti-socially which is contrary to trainers’ views. The investigation revealed that some inmates still portray deviant behaviour such as selling school equipment to villagers, using intoxicants such as bhang and theft of green maize from neighbouring firms. Thus, the villagers contention is confirmed by the results. The data were gathered through questionnaires, interviews and researcher’s observation. The findings have led to the recommendations at three levels, family, approved school and ministry. Some of the child rearing practices such as corporal punishments are ineffective and encourage youths to continue with the behaviour, but at a different level. To the approved school, the researcher has suggested a number of practices which, if followed, would help to shape the present system. As to the ministry, the researcher has recommended that it should look into the possibilities of combining the role of social workers and that of teachers and the possibility of involving all inmates in vocational training which at present is offered to primary seven leaders only. The inmate trained in vocational traders would help to man our industries which we intended to develop as a way of diversifying our economy which is presently based on agricultural production. In the end, the researcher has made an attempt to give some general structural recommendations which can help to minimise or prevent deviant behaviour among our youths.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.WilbertChagula Library, (THS EAF HV9223.A6T3M5)
Juvenile delinquency, Reformatories, Mbeya District, Tanzania
Mgeni, J. G (1978) The role of an approved school in rehabilitating juvenile delinquents: A case study of Irambo approved school in Mbeya district, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.