The Growing Impetus of Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania: Quality concern is debatable

Textbook 2011 26 Pages

Pedagogy - School System, Educational and School Politics


Table of Contents



Executive Summary


Historical Overview of Secondary Education in Tanzania

The Essence of Community Secondary Schools (Global Outlook)

Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Recent Trends in Community Secondary Schools

The Quality of Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Quality and management of Teaching and Learning Environments

Teachers’ Qualifications at Secondary Schools

Teaching and Learning Materials

Effectives Management of Community Secondary Schools

Quality Management of School Inspection

Students’ Entrance Quality

Teaching and Learning Process

Quality of output in community secondary schools:

Financing of Community Secondary Schools

Community Participation and Decentralization

Leadership and Administrative Roles in Community Schools

Advantages of Community Secondary Schools

The Challenges Facing the Community Secondary Schools

What should be done?



About the author


Thanks to is table to Ron Rieckenberg for his picture that used to on the cover of this book. The picture depict Msaranga Secondary School, students in class the school is located in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. I indebted to thanks Mr. Boaz Machumu for encouraging me to go through this work. To My wife Mary Gerion Machumu for her patient when I was busy writing and composing ideas for final write-up. Thanks you all. God bless you all.


This work is dedicated to my colleagues MA Education students class of 2011, College of Education, the University of Dodoma.

To my educators, College of Education, at the University of Dodoma including Prof Osaki, K. M; Prof. E. K Babyegeya, Dr. Sipora H. Kisanga,Dr. Mtahabwa, Mr. Iramba wa Iramba, and Mr. Mwijuma

Executive Summary

This hand book is about the growing impetus of community secondary schools in Tanzania: quality concern is debatable. It falls under three major parts. Part one is an introduction devoted to key ideas pertinent to historical development of community secondary, part two discusses varied themes in relation to community secondary school such as quality, management, indicators concern to quality teaching and learning process, challenges facing community schools and financing community secondary schools in Tanzania. The last part is suggestive way forward and conclusion, since views and practical observation is e made regarding to community school as educational organization. The main focus is granted on how quality management and leadership are employed. The main purpose is to conceptualize the main ideas, issues, benefits varied types and techniques to educational arena. The book commonly employs various pedagogical understanding about the essence, financial and challenges facing quality improvement in community schools. Experiences and observation has been made to community schools in Tanzania and its long stand for provision of education in the country


This handbook attempt to address the driving force of community secondary school in Tanzania, its principles, quality, management, achievement, challenges for its management and suggestive options to be granted. The historical root of secondary education in low income developing countries, Tanzania inclusively is widely discussed. However the essence of community secondary school is also pondered as well as objectives of schools. In most countries today, the public sector is-or is expected to be-the major provider of education to its citizens in community level especially in remote and disadvantaged area as private schools still growing in urban and sub-urban areas.

It should be understood that education has been recognized as a critical factor in a nation’s wealth and well-being and not one that can be left to the vagaries of private markets, governments have been called upon to ensure that the widest range of children have access to basic education so that they acquire the skills and knowledge essential to social and economic development. In Tanzania, the situation is the same as community secondary school has been built almost all over the country.

Historical Overview of Secondary Education in Tanzania

Since independence 1961 many reform had take place to address education sector in Tanzania. There is a rapid increase of community secondary schools especially since 1980s. Tanzania as a country education structure and systems differ from that of Tanzania mainland to Zanzibar by having varied ministries dealing with education. Community secondary school found in all part of Tanzania. These secondary schools are government and parents oriented secondary schools. The government-aided schools are more selective and only few who get higher pass manages to join these schools. Most of the government-aided schools are boarding schools. The Community schools are less selective and make up 75 percent of all secondary schools in the country (Best, 2007). Students who score lower on the primary school leaving examinations (PSLE) are posted to community schools. The quota system is used to select students for joining form one in these schools.

Historically, secondary education in Tanzania was given immediate priorities after independence due to high demand of civil servants to hold office from British colonialist. Secondary school has two tiers known as ordinary O’level which extends from form one through form four (I-IV), and advanced A’ level that extends from form five up to form six (V-VI). Assessment and evaluation procedures include continuous assessment (i.e. frequent tests and assignment) and final examination managed by National examination council of Tanzania (NECTA) aiming to encourage good study habits, develop reading attitudes, patriotism, demonstrated dedication to social causes, and overall behavior.

Three decades ago, each region in Tanzania had one or more secondary school, usually found in an urban area; they were boarding schools in most cases, since students homes were far from the schools (Omari, 2000, p.23). As the primary school base enlarged considerably and secondary school enrollment stagnated, the number of grammar school graduates who went on to high school dropped from 30% in 1970 to 4% in 1980. Since 1980, excess demand has forced the government to allow private schools to help meet the great demand for secondary education in the country.

Following enrollment increase in primary schools after the implementation of primary education Development Plan (PEDP) that articulates the vision of Universal Primary Education (UPE) within the wider Tanzania policy, framework of the Education and Training Policy, the Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP-2001), implementation of free primary education to achieve Education for All (EFA-2000) goals and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, has exerted pressure on government to expand chances for secondary education. In 2004, the government starts to implement Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) (2004-2009) as a means to achieve EFA goals and Tanzania Development Vision 2015. In 1996, the Government of Tanzania undertook to develop the Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP) to address the existing problems and face the new challenges resulting from ongoing socio economic reforms initiated in 1986 and the increasing demand for human resource development in line with fast changing technological advancement. EDSP is a sector-wide programme aimed at operationalizing the various policies pertaining to sub sectors in education and training policy. The programme covers all sub-sectors in education sector. The contents are: basic education which includes (pre-primary, primary, adult, secondary and teacher education), higher education, vocational education both formal and non-formal (URT, 2001, p.3).

The increase in an enrollment in primary schools resulted expansion of Secondary education through a strategy of constructing community secondary schools in each ward in Tanzania. This kind of innovation has received great support from donors and world agencies as well as community.

The Essence of Community Secondary Schools (Global Outlook)

The influence of the 1990 Education Conference in Jomtien, Thailand and the International commitment to bring the benefits of Education for all to “every society” cannot be discounted (Glassman, et al, 2007, p.5). Practically, as the countries confronted the challenges of EFA, community secondary schools is seen the only alternative, with their flexibility in programming and planning, offered as means to meet EFA goals, improve students achievement and reach out to remote, underserved and disadvantaged population while keeping cost-low.

The community school movement of the 1990s principally begins in Africa but also elsewhere. It is said to an exercise in the delivery of every basic (poor) service; a stripped-down-curriculum, a shortened basic education cycle, drumming up local support for schools so that poor people expand much of their limited financial resources on the development of the secondary education services.

The idea of community schools originates in community organizing, in communities themselves coming to their own awareness of their options for education and, primarily in their response to those options (Glassman, et al, 2007, p.4). In traditional colonialist model, community schools whether primary or secondary were designed to meet the educational needs of students using curricula, language and materials that are familiar to students and teachers at all and found around their surroundings.

Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania

The establishment of community schools is one of the major educational reform in a secondary education during the 1980s and 1990s.The 1995 educational and training act No 10 defined a community secondary schools as a schools owned by local community or owned by an institution on behalf of a community (URT 1995). In this case, community secondary schools in Tanzania are basically established by the people at the ward, division or district levels before transferred to central government for supply of teaching and learning materials, teaching force, or teaching staff and administrators.

The community schools in Tanzania at first were implemented in 1970s when the government decided to nationalize private secondary schools for the aim of abolishing racial discrimination which was left by colonialists by that time. The second implementation took place in 1980s and 1990s; this period had further changes in the history of community secondary education in Tanzania. The first major change was the re-introduction of community secondary schools as a response to the unprecedented increase of social demand for secondary education following the implementation of Universal Primary Education (UPE) (URT, 1995) the implementation of UPE has created unparalleled social demand for secondary education. The government issued a circular in 1984 to initiate a ten year programme for the expansion of secondary education. The programme became effectively implemented in 1986 and was to be completed by 1995 with the construction of 79 secondary schools which were to be distributed in such a way that each region was to build three schools. Essentially, community secondary schools are government schools with divided responsibilities between local communities on one hand and the central government on the other (URT, 1995).

In addition, community school, are planned and run by the community in which the children live. These community schools have been to means a low-cost to the communities, that ensuring access to education for children who would not otherwise have had the opportunity of attending school elsewhere in the country. For instance, community schools under this category in Kenya are called “Harambee Schools” and in Tanzania famously “Shule za Kata” due to its nature of community involvement, mobilization and contribution made its advancement.



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Title: The Growing Impetus of Community Secondary Schools in Tanzania: Quality concern is debatable