Students’ coping strategies in unconducive learning environments in community secondary schools: a case of Mkuranga district council

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated students‟ coping strategies in unconducive learning environments in community secondary schools. The specific objectives of the study were: to examine the status of general teaching and learning environment in community secondary schools in Mkuranga District, to analyse the coping strategies used by students in selected community secondary school to enhance their academic performance, to determine coping strategies used by school teachers in schools with students performing academically well in unconducive learning environment and to examine school strategies that enhance students‟ good academic performance in community secondary schools. The study used mixed research approach involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches. It was conducted in five secondary schools in Mkuranga District Council. The study employed a case study strategy with 116 respondents, including five Heads of schools, 25 class teachers, five Ward Education Coordinators, 50 students, one District Secondary Education Officer, 25 parents/guardians and five school board members. Data were collected through semistructure interviews, questionnaires, documentary review and observation. They were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively through thematic analysis and the use of Statistical Package for Social Scientists respectively. Major findings revealed that most students choose science subjects as their priority simply because they are marketable to employment opportunities where good performance is attained. There was lack of hostel accommodation in community secondary schools which made it unconducive for students‟ concentration in their academics. Reading more textbooks, attending group discussions, solving past examinations papers and attending remedial classes were revealed by most students as coping strategies. Close supervision, provision of rewards to teachers and students were also used to enhance students‟ academic performance. The study recommends that the Regional Administration and Local Government should ensure availability of physical facilities such as dormitories/hostels, and teaching materials like text/reference books, apparatuses and chemicals so as to make learning environment in community secondary school conducive. In addition, school board members and the government in general, should make sure that there is provision of food (lunch) to all students because most of them live far away from their homes. Moreover a comprehensive study should be done involving a large area and a bigger representative sample than the one used in the current study to make findings generalizable.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB2820T34M87)
Community schools, School facilities, Mkuranga District, Tanzania
Musoma, M. E (2014) Students’ coping strategies in unconducive learning environments in community secondary schools: a case of Mkuranga district council, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.