This study was carried out in Urambo District to determine the factors leading to poor academic performance in Community Secondary Schools. Both simple random and purposive sampling were used to select the responded; primary data were collected using questionnaires, interview and field observation whereas secondary data were collected from statistical records found in the district education office. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics incorporated in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 16.0. The findings indicated that, the poor performance in form four examinations was associated with poor working environment for teachers, poor supply of teaching and learning materials (61.6%), high teacher-students ratio (1:65) and poor teaching methodology (46%). It was further found that, the effects of parental involvement on student academic achievement depend on both school characteristics and the nature of parental involvement in that, when students are having trouble with school, their parents are more likely to become involved by maintaining contact with the school. Teacher- student ratio was positively correlated with the achievement scores. It can be concluded that inadequate teaching and learning materials, high teacher-student ratio and poor working environment have a significant impact on student achievement. From the findings, it is recommended that there should be conducive working environment for teachers, adequate supply of teaching and learning materials, provision of motivation to teachers, proper recruitment and in-service training for teachers, a good education policy, teachers being responsible and accountable, use of proper teaching and learning methods, as well as community participation in schools activities and good child care.













Background of the Problem1

Problem Statement7

Conceptual Framework8


Main objectives10

The specific objectives of this study were to:10

Research Questions10

Significance of Study11





The Concept of Academic Performance13

The Concept of Quality Education14

Indicators of Quality Education15

Factors Affecting the Quality of Education16

Empirical studies on Quality Education Worldwide23

Empirical Findings from Developing Countries25

Empirical findings from Tanzania26

Knowledge Gap26




Description of the Study Area28

Research Approach31

Research Design31

Target Population, Sample and Sampling Procedure32

3. 4 Data Analysis 39

3.5 Summary 40



Respondents Characteristics41

Number of Teachers According to Their Education Qualifications Specialization and Their Commitments Who Are Available At Selected Community Secondary Schools42

Applicability of Teacher’s Subject Specialization at Community Secondary Schools48

Commitment of Teachers In Community Secondary Schools51

Availability of Teaching and Learning Materials in Community Secondary Schools53

Commitments of Community Secondary School Students in Learning Process61









Table 1.1: Form 1 – 6 Enrolment in Government and Non-Government Schools .. 3 Table 1.2: CSEE Results Performance in Urambo District for Three Years

(2009 – 2011).......................................................................................... 5

Table 3.1: Summary of Sample Composition for the Study Respondents 34

Table 3.2: Summary of the Instruments Administered to Sample Respondents 37

Table 4.1: Gender Analysis of Respondents 41

Table 4.2: Respondent's Occupation Status 42

Table 4.3: Teacher Subject Specialization in Selected Schools 42

Table 4.4: Applicability of Subject Specialization in Teaching 48

Table 4.5: Factors behind the Situation 49

Table 4.6: Teacher’s Subject Specialization in Selected Community Secondary Schools 50

Table 4.7: Number of Lesson Plans, Scheme of Works and Monthly Test Provided in Selected Community Secondary Schools in the Year 2011 51

Table 4.8: The Existing Status of Education Infrastructure in Community

Secondary School 53

Table 4.9: The Effect of Shortage of Education Infrastructure to the Teaching and Learning Process 54

Table 4.10: Availability of Textbooks in Selected Community Secondary Schools. 55 Table 4.11: Techniques Employed By Teachers in Teaching and Learning Process 60 Table 4.12: General View of Students’ Academic Performance in CSEE 2009 –

2012 ...................................................................................................... 62

Table 4.13: Evidence Factors Which Shows Uncommitment of the Student to Learn Effectively 63

Table 4.14: The Extent of Parents or Guardians Initiatives in Encouraging Their Children to Concentrate in Their Children 64


Figure 1.1: The CIPP Education Evaluation Model 9

Figure 3.1: A Map of Urambo District with Wards and Secondary Schools 29

Figure 4.1: One of the Teachers’ Office 54

Figure 4.2: Students were Getting Their Lesson under the Tree 58


AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

BEST Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania

DAO District Academic Officer

DCIS District Chief Inspector of Schools

DSEO District Secondary Educational Officer

EMAC Educational Materials Approval Committee

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

MED-APPS Masters of Education Administration, Planning and Policy Studies

MOEVT Ministry of Education and Vocational Training

SEDP Secondary Education Development Plan

SPSS Statistical Package for Social Science

URT United Republic of Tanzania

WEC Ward Educational Coordinator

CSEE Certificate of Secondary Education Examination

TDV Tanzania Development Vision

SSR Secondary School Reports



Background of the Problem

Learning is a product not only of formal schooling, but also of families, communities and peers. Social, economic and cultural forces affect learning and thus school achievement (Rothstein, 2000). A great deal of research on the determinants of school achievement has centred on the relative effects of home-and school-related factors, for instance, most findings have suggested that family background is an important determinant of school outcomes, where a school characteristics have minimal effects (Brooks-Gunn and Duncan, 1997).

Over the last two decades, national Governments have invested heavily in improving access to and the quality of primary education, and also in developing strong networks of colleges and universities. The secondary level, while not forgotten, has been given lower priority and has received less attention. Governments and international donor organizations have largely neglected secondary education in favour of investment in primary education.

For several reasons, attention is now increasingly being given to secondary schooling with particular focus on the lower level of secondary education. Demand for increased secondary education provision has grown consequently greatly increased primary enrolment rates (URT 2004). Enrolment in primary schools increased from 7,541,208 pupils in 2005 to 8,419,305 in 2010, an increase of 11.6%. As school participation rates rise and retention rates improve, Tanzania will be faced with an

enormous social demand for greater access to good quality and more relevant secondary education.

In order to cope with the consequences of increasing primary school enrolment, the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) was launched in 2004. It outlined the framework for achieving greater access to secondary education (URT, 2004). SEDP is a visionary plan which informs of projections that were planned for the country to have achieved a 50% transition rate from primary to secondary school by 2010. This may be translated to get over 500,000 pupils who would join Form one in secondary schools annually - about five times the 2004 rate. This was supposed to bring changes in the outlook of secondary education within the country. The enrolment of forms 1 – 6 were expected to be above 2,000,000 by 2012.

According to the Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST), (2011), enrolment in secondary education increased by 241.3% from524, 325 pupils in 2005 to 1,789,547 students in 2011.

The Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP I) was launched by the Government in July 2004 and was expected to be implemented for over 5 years. It was intended to be implemented within three phases of five years each but with the first phase covering the period from 2004 to 2009. The Plan had five key objectives, namely: to improve access, to improve equity, to improve quality, to improve education management systems (monitoring and evaluation including improvement of data collection system), and management reforms (URT, 2010).

According to Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, from 2009 up to 2010, the SEDP had scored some of the following successes:

i. Increase in enrolment of students in Form 1 to 4 from 432,599 in 2004 to 1, 466,402 in 2009 (249% increase) as well as enrolment of Form 5 and 6 from 31,001 in 2004 to 64,843 in 2009 (109% increase).

ii. Improvement in transition rates from primary to secondary education from 2004 up to 2009 which amount to the rate of 36.1% to 51.6% in 2009.

iii. Increase in number of the secondary schools from 1,291 (Government 828 and 463 non-Government - including seminaries) in 2004 and also 4,102 in 2009 (3,283 Government and 819 non-Government

Apart from these successes, there were also several challenges that face secondary education development in Tanzania particularly in schools commonly known as community secondary schools which are often associated with unfriendly environment that does not effectively support the process of teaching and learning process. The challenges range from dropouts to poor academic performance.

According to Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOEVT), enrolment in secondary education increased by 241.3% from 524, 325 pupils in 2005 to

1,789,547 students in 2011 (Basic Education Statistics, 2011).

Table 1.1: Form 1 – 6 Enrolment in Government and Non-Government Schools

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Govt. 355188 490492 829094 1035873 1293691 1401330 1515671

Non-Govt 169137 185180 191416 186330 172711 237369 273876

Total 524325 675672 1020510 1222403 1466402 1638699 1789547

Source: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (BEST, 2011)

As a result of the growth in secondary education, there has been a sharp increase in demand for high quality secondary teachers, more education infrastructures, teaching and learning materials and more financial support.

Quality education primarily depends on teachers and their capacity to improve the teaching and learning process and is widely recognized that quality of teachers and teaching lies at the heart of all schooling systems intending to offer quality education. Mosha (2004), observed that the teaching force is the foundation of quality education at all levels of education. The Community Secondary Schools were established by collaboration between the Government and the local community initiatives. These schools are operated and managed by both Government and local community. Inefficiencies at school level are common and result from lack of effective teacher management and supervision. These inefficiencies translate in perverse teacher deployment, dropouts and repetitions amongst student. There is a serious scarcity of standard inputs which includes low textbook/student ratios across schools and subject areas - but mainly in mathematics, Physics Chemistry, Biology and English. Both learners and teachers - in these ward based secondary schools, have serious deficiencies in their mastery of the language of teaching and learning which is English. This result in adopting pedagogical approaches which are not learner-centred, participatory and optimally interactive.

Community secondary schools in Urambo District have been affected by bad results in the Certificate 0f Secondary Education Examination since time of their commencement. As a result, the stakeholders in education at District and National

level have made various efforts to rescue this disturbing situation. Unfortunately, the performance continues to be poor as shown by the results of Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations for three years from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Table 1.2: CSEE Results Performance in Urambo District for Three Years (2009 – 2011)

Year 2009 2010 2011 Total

Division I 3 7 4 14

Division II 66 24 25 115

Division III 137 79 124 340

Division IV 779 616 906 2298

Division 0 530 1200 1567 3293

Total 1515 1923 2626 6064

Source: NECTA, 2009-2011

Total number of students who passed with division I for the three years were 14 (0.23%), while those with division II for three years were 115 students (1.9%) but the total of division III for three years were 340(5.6%) and those with division IV for three years were 2298(37.9%) hence for those with division O for three years is 3293(54.3%). The total number of students who scored division zero was greater than the number of students who passed the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination. Therefore, the statistical data indicate that there was mass failure among students completing Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in Urambo District.

Various scholars have noted several factors that affect students’ academic performance in the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in community

secondary schools. Agyeman (1993) reported that a teacher who does not have both the academic and the professional teacher qualification would – undoubtedly, have a negative influence on the teaching and learning of his/her subject. He further stated that a teacher who is academically and professional qualified - but works under unfavourable condition of service, would be less dedicated to his work thus becoming less productive than a teacher who is unqualified but works under favourable condition of service.

Neagley and Evans (1970) were of the view that effective supervision of instruction can improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. Etsey, et al. (2004) in a study of 60 schools from 29 per-urban schools and 31 rural schools in Ghana also found that students’ academic performance is better in private schools than in public schools because of more there is efficiency in work supervision. The shortage of teachers has a negative effect on efforts to improve the quality of education in schools. Unless urgent measures are taken to address the problem of the acute shortage of teachers, the quality of learning in schools will be seriously affected (URT, 2004).

Similarly, Mac Donald (1999), disclosed that most secondary schools have an acute shortage of text books. For example, one text book being shared by 22 students. Newly established public and private secondary schools are worse off in terms of text and reference books as well as supplementary ones. In addition, most of the schools do not have laboratories or libraries and those with report that they are adequately stocked with books.

Problem Statement

The Tanzania Development Vision (TDV) of 2025 states that education should be treated as a strategic means for mindset transformation and creation of a well- educated nation, sufficiently equipped with the knowledge needed to solve the development challenges which face the nation. Consequently, the Tanzania Government has established UPE programme which enable many students to complete Primary education. To cope with the consequences of increasing primary school enrolment, the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP I) was launched in 2004. This plan outlines the framework for achieving greater access to secondary education while simultaneously tackling the quality issue. SEDP is a visionary plan with projections up to 2010 (United Republic of Tanzania, 2004). In implementing SEDP, Tanzania Government has made efforts of mobilizing the community to construct secondary schools in each ward. On the other hand, Government is providing books, teachers, chairs, tables and other necessary facilities such as teaching and learning materials to those schools. The major objective of establishing community secondary schools is to cope with the consequences of increasing primary schools enrolment that lead to the big number of primary school leavers to have qualification of continuing with secondary education level, but who did not have the opportunity of being enrolled in Government secondary schools.

Regardless of the efforts being made by the Tanzania Government and other stakeholders to expand education since, 2004 and the supply of necessary materials needed in the schools but still there is a problem of low performance among these community secondary schools.

The community secondary schools in Urambo District have been experiencing bad results in the certificate of secondary education examination since their commencement. As a result, the stakeholders in education at District and national level have made various efforts to rescue this disturbing situation. Unfortunately the results are still poor, as shown by Certificate Secondary Education Examinations for three years 2009, 2010 and 2011. While a total of 6064 candidates in Urambo District sat for Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (CSEE) for the past three consecutive years, only 2667(45.790) students scored division I up to IV .

On the other hand, 3293(54.3%) students scored division 0. The total number of students who scored division zero is greater than the number of students who passed the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination. Therefore the data indicate mass failure for students completing Certificate of Secondary Education Examination. Thus, this study sought to find out the academic performance in community secondary schools in Urambo District.

Conceptual Framework

A number of models have been developed to evaluate the idea of service delivery particularly for teachers. Among the models used are the Stufflebeams (1971) CIPP Model and Scheerens (2000) programme impact model that integrate the elements of context, input, process, output and outcome.

Therefore, in order to make a logical analysis it is very important to develop a clear analytical framework. This study made use of the CIPP Model of evaluation (Figure

1). It is useful to apply educational evaluation due to the reason that it has major

elements of this conceptual framework which guided this study.


Rapid expansion of schools, large area, Hardship condition


Laboratories, Text books, Apparatus, Desks, Classes, Meals, Time task, Language,


Management and administration, Conducive environment, committed teachers,

Student commitment, Use of student centred method, Number of exercise per time


School performance, disciplined students

Figure 1.1: The CIPP Education Evaluation Model

Source: Modified from Stufflebeam, 1971

This conceptual framework - which informed the study, has been modified or adopted from Stufflebeams (1971) CIPP model. In this model, the acronym CIPP stands for context, inputs, processes and products. Context evaluation means the identification of needs, goals and specific objectives for the programme which help decision makers to define goals, priorities and judge the outcome. In this study, context evaluation enables teachers to enhance their job performance and professionalism.

Input evaluation assess alternative approaches, competing action plans, and budgets for their feasibility and potential cost effectiveness to meet targeted needs and achieves desired goals. Process evaluation assess the implementation of the plan to

help staff carry out activities and later help the broad group of users judge programme performance and interpreted outcomes, examines daily running of programmes in terms of utilization of resources identified in the input stage through good governance and good management. Product evaluation identifies and assess outcomes intended and unintended, short and long term and to help a staff keep an enterprise focus on achieving important outcomes. This model was applied to the teachers in order to assess themselves how they achieve the national goals.


Main objectives

Main objective of the study was to assess the factors which contribute to poor academic performance of community secondary school students in CSEE in Urambo District.

The specific objectives of this study were to:

i. Examine the influence of teachers’ qualification on academic performance.

ii. Investigate the role of teaching process in improving academic performance

iii. Assess availability and application of teaching and learning material for learning.

iv. Examine student’s commitment to the learning process.

Research Questions

i. How do teacher’s qualifications influence academic performance?

ii. Does the teaching and the learning process affect the performance of students?

iii. Do teaching and learning materials contribute to poor academic performance?

iv. Does student’s attitude effect the knowledge received from their trainers?

Significance of Study

The researcher provided answers to the questions - particularly those which contribute to the academic poor performance in community secondary schools. The findings are expected to provide useful information that can be used by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in devising a more appropriate system based on sufficient and effective method of recruiting, training, deploying, retention of teachers and financing secondary Education.

The study is expected to shade light on why community secondary schools perform poorly so as to increase performance and also provide awareness to the government to take remedial measures in Education Sector. Not only that, but the findings would also provide the useful information which can be used by the education administrators and policy makers in education system in devising a more appropriate system of delivering teachers’ services as well as providing alternative ways of improving quality teachers’ services.

Further, the study was expected to advance knowledge and provide basis for further research on similar topical issues.


Generally chapter one based on the proposal of the research which includes background of the problem, problem statement, and conceptual framework,

objectives which carries main and specific objectives, research questions and significance of the study. So this chapter carries general overview of the whole research which based on the factors contributing to the poor academic performance in certificate of secondary education examination for community secondary schools, particularly in Urambo District Tanzania.





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