Problems of teaching and learning home economics in selected secondary schools in Tanzania

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the problems encountered in the teaching and learning of home economics in selected secondary schools in Tanzania. Specifically, the study investigated the availability and adequacy of teaching resources in general. These include human (teachers), financial and material (equipment and book:) resources. The study also sought to investigate possible learning problems resulting from the use of English as the medium of instruction in home economics. Four methods were used for collecting data namely; questionnaire, interviews, observation and documentation. Schools were selected through stratified random sampling. However a slight modification was necessary because the schools were spread throughout the country. This would have led to high field costs and inconveniences so the schools were concentrated in four rather than the eight regions originally selected through random sampling. In total ten schools were selected comprising thirty of the seventy-eight teachers of home economics in the country, and 150 students. The research was carried out over a period of five months (February - June 1980 ). The data obtained were processed manually, using hand sorting and tally sheet methods, The totals of frequency responses were obtained and the corresponding percentages were calculated, Chi-square (X2} at 0.05 level of significance eras used to test the significant difference of teachers' responses on the adequacy of time, equipment textbooks and reference books. Statistical analysis of teachers responses from home economics biased, non-biased and private schools on the adequacy of time, reference books textbooks} and equipment such as. cookers, refrigerators, frying pans, vegetable knives mixing bowls, dinner sets, and sewing machines do not differ significantly at the chosen 0.05 level, On the other hand. the opinions of teachers from the three different schools on the adequacy of equipment such as saucepans baking tins and irons differed significantly at 0.05 level. The findings revealed that the teaching and learning resources were grossly inadequate in host of the schools surveyed. More specifically there was an acute shortage of home economics trained teachers. The shortage of teachers was most felt upcountry, indicating an unequal distribution of human resources. This has resulted in a heavy teaching load for those teachers, Few teachers appear to have attended in-service courses, However, teachers seemed to realize the importance of in-service courses and urged that they should be arranged. Both funds and teaching, facilities (equipment and books ) were inadequate. Similarly, time allocated for teaching home economics appeared to be inadequate, Many students appear to find the learning of home economics difficult largely because of the use of English as the medium of instruction. Both teachers and students perceived problems, other than those previously mentioned that tended to affect the teaching and learning of home economics. Teachers noted lack of opportunities for further studies difficulties to get students to contribute money, students' lack of interest in the subject, difficulties with dealing with intellectually backward students and lack of motivation. Students also noted the problems of paying for the materials they use, lack of opportunities for further studies and language handicap. Despite the problems reported host teachers and students appear to have an interest in the subject. However, the teachers felt that if the problems reported are not rectified pupils interest in the subject is likely to decline. In the light of the reported findings some recommendations were mode. These include the need to establish a home economics section of the University of Dar es Salaam with facilities for training teachers; there is also the need to introduce home economics at 'A' level, and to expand the existing institutions. A secondary school home economics curriculum developer should be posted to the Institute of Education where among other things she could conduct in-service courses for teachers. There should be a definite ministerial policy for allocating funds to the various departments in the schools and for procuring and distributing teaching facilities. Streaming practices should be stopped, and efforts should be made to decide on the medium of instruction schools, so that mastery of the language con be achieved. The dissertation is organized into five chapters. The first chapter provides a background to and definition of the problem. The second chapter presents literature related to the problem. A discussion of the research methodology presented in chapter three, followed by presentation and discussion of the findings in chapter four. Finally the major findings are summarized in chapter five, followed by some recommendations.
Available in print form
Home economics, Study and teaching, Tanzania
Sakaba, M. A (1980) Problems of teaching and learning home economics in selected secondary schools in Tanzania,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (