Community participation in improving academic performance in primary schools in Mpanda District in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study aimed at exploring the nature and extent of community participation in improving academic performance in primary schools, with specific reference to Mpanda district in Tanzania. Three research tasks and related questions guided the study. Seven wards with fourteen primary schools and surrounding communities were involved in the study. The total number of respondents was 187, who included district educational administrators, community leaders, ward and village executive officers, community members and teachers as well as pupils. Data analysis was done in accordance with research tasks and questions of the study. Although this study was predominantly qualitative, analysis of data used both qualitative and quantitative techniques and was on-going process. Content analysis was employed in interpreting data drawn from the respondents through interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussion, documentary review and observation methods. The findings revealed that community members had little knowledge about their planning, financing and academic roles in schools and there were no adequate strategies to enable them to be aware of their roles of promoting academic performance. There was a low level of community participation in all aspects of school academic performance and development. The study concluded that the strategies that community members employ to mobilize and allocate resources are not efficient on account of inadequate resource planning skills in many schools, which therefore affects community participation towards improving school academic performance. Community education and sensitization, empowering communities resource-wise, and clear legal directives for involving communities are recommended for a heightened awareness of community members towards their fuller participation in improving academic performance in schools.
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Education primary, Primary schools, Academic performance, Citizen participation, Mpande distict, Tanzania
Shengelo, Z. L (2010) Community participation in improving academic performance in primary schools in Mpanda District in Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Avaiable at