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Assessment of factors contributing to girls' school attendance and academic performance on Form Four national examinations in Mbeya Region, Tanzania

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Title:
Assessment of factors contributing to girls' school attendance and academic performance on Form Four national examinations in Mbeya Region, Tanzania
Creator:
Kihombo, Grace Aloyce ( author )
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English
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1 online resource (78 pages) : illustrations ;

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Sustainable Development Practice field practicum report, M.D.P
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
The focus of this study was to identify factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary school, especially on Form Four national examinations, together with factors that lead to improved school attendance and academic performance among girls. The four main objectives of the study were to determine: 1) how do attendance and performance compare between girls and boys; 2) the factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance; 3) what can be done to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls; and 4) which stakeholders can play a role in order to improve school attendance and academic performance? Six secondary schools in Mbeya rural district were examined. The study included 98 respondents: 71 students, 20 teachers and 7 parents. The data were collected from school records, questionnaires and focus group discussions. Government and non-governmental reports and documents, together with other literature, were consulted within and beyond Tanzania. The respondents from questionnaire and focus group participants mentioned many factors that affect school attendance and academic performance among girls, such as pregnancies, long distances from schools, cultural practices and family poverty. They also mentioned factors that can support better attendance and academic performance, such as building a hostel for girls, as well as cooperation and education among between teachers, students and parents. Stakeholders highlighted as key to overcome the challenges the complementary roles of students, teachers, parents and the government.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
The MDP Program is administered jointly by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Grace Aloyce Kihombo.

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University of Florida
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Copyright Grace Aloyce Kihombo. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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035776613 ( ALEPH )
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LD1780.1 2017 ( lcc )

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University of Florida Theses & Dissertations

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ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO GIRLS' SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE ON FORM FOUR NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS IN MBEYA REGION, TANZANIA FIELD PRACTICUM REPORT By GRACE ALOYCE KIHOMBO COMMITTEE MEMBERS D R. SUSAN PAULSON CHAIR DR. A NDREW NOSS MEMBER MASTER O F S USTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FALL, 2017

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2017 GRACE ALOYCE KIHOMBO

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DEDICATION To My Family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Primarily I am grateful to our Lord God for his blessings and grace. Indeed, God has been good through all the period of my studies. Also, I would like to thank the Salvation Army organization s team (Mr. & Mrs. Horwood and Mr. Mkami ) for accepting me to conduct the study. My deepest thanks to the whole team of Itundu secondary school for arranging my accommodation. I would like to thank my committee members Dr. Susan Paulson and Dr. Andrew Noss for agreeing to supervise my work and for the ir valuable inputs in the whole process of developing the proposal and finally the report. I would also like to thank Dr. Glenn Galloway for the constructive support in developing the proposal of this report through the Sustainable Develop ment Design and M ethods Course. In addition, my special thanks to Dr. Charles Bwenge my Graduate Teaching Assistant director in African Languages for being helpful and supportive in making my learning and teaching environment smooth. Finally, my sincere thanks to my lovel y husband Dr. Newton Kilasi, and my daughters Angel and Alice for their valuable support and understanding. Thanks to everyone who participated in one way or another in the whole process of developing this report.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS P age DEDICATION ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 9 CHAPTER ONE: Introduction ................................ ................................ ......................... 10 1.1 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 1.2 Statement of the issue ................................ ................................ ....................... 14 1.3. Researcher experience and interest in the study ................................ .............. 15 (i) Experience as a female student ................................ ................................ .... 15 (ii) Experience as a female teacher ................................ ................................ ... 16 1.4 General objective. ................................ ................................ .............................. 16 1. 5 Significance of the study ................................ ................................ .................... 17 1. 6 Scope and context of the study ................................ ................................ .......... 18 1. 7 Host organization ................................ ................................ ............................... 20 1. 8 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ...................... 20 Inpu ts ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 21 Process ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 21 Outputs ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 21 Outcomes ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 22 1. 9 Organization of the study ................................ ................................ ................... 23 CHAPTER TWO : Factors affecting school attendance and academic performance in Tanzania ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 24 2.1. Household poverty ................................ ................................ ............................ 26 2.2. Long distance to school ................................ ................................ .................... 26 2.3 Pregnancy ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 27 2.4 Cultural practices ................................ ................................ ............................... 28 2.5 Cell phones and consumer desires ................................ ................................ .... 29 2.6 Lack of role models ................................ ................................ ............................ 29 2.7 School infrastructure and staffing ................................ ................................ ...... 29 2.8 Problem tree analysis ................................ ................................ ........................ 32 2. 9 Ways to improve school attendance and performance ................................ ...... 34 Abolition of school fees in Primary and Secondary education .......................... 34 Building secondary schools in each ward ................................ ......................... 34

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6 CHAPTER THREE: Methods ................................ ................................ ......................... 36 3.1 Scope of the study ................................ ................................ ....................... 36 3.2 Research design ................................ ................................ ......................... 36 3.3 Samp ling ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 37 3.4 Data collection methods and instruments. ................................ .................. 38 3.5 Ethical considerations. ................................ ................................ ................ 39 CHAPTER FOUR : Results and discusion ................................ ................................ ..... 41 4.1 Comparison of school attendance and academic performance among girls and boys ................................ ................................ ................................ 41 4.2 Factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 43 Institutional or national factors ................................ ................................ .... 44 School factors ................................ ................................ ............................. 47 Family factors ................................ ................................ .............................. 49 Students' individual factors. ................................ ................................ ........ 52 4.3. What can be done to improve girls' academic performance and school attendance? ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 54 Institutional or national factors. ................................ ................................ ... 54 School factors ................................ ................................ ............................. 57 Family factors ................................ ................................ .............................. 58 Students' individual factors ................................ ................................ ......... 60 4. 4 Which stakeholders can improve girls' school attendance and academic performance? ................................ ................................ ................. 61 CHAPTER FIVE : Conclusions and recommendations ................................ ................... 64 5.1 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ 64 Areas for further research ................................ ................................ ........... 67 5.2 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ...................... 67 Institu tional or national recommendations ................................ .................. 67 School recommendations ................................ ................................ ........... 68 Family recommendations ................................ ................................ ............ 69 Students' individual recommendations ................................ ....................... 69 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 70 Appendix 1: Interview Q uestions for S tudents ................................ ............................... 74 Appendix 2: Interview Questions for T eachers. ................................ .............................. 75 Appendix 3: Interview Q uestions for P arents ................................ ................................ 77 Appendix 4 : Focus group discussion questions for students, teachers and parents ...... 78

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table P age Table 1. Barriers to education and the gender dimension in deve loping countries ........ 25 Table 2. Number of secondary students in 2016 ................................ ............................ 32 Table 3. Sample of respondents ................................ ................................ .................... 37 Tab le 4. Focus group participation ................................ ................................ ................. 39 Table 5. Scho ol attendance and dropout rates ................................ .............................. 42 Table 6. School performance ................................ ................................ ......................... 43 Table 7. Institutional or national factors affecting girls' school atte ndance and academic performance ................................ ................................ ........................ 45 Table 8. Students' res idences ................................ ................................ ........................ 46 Table 9. School factors affecting girls' school atte ndance and academic performance ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 48 Table 10. Family factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performa nce ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 49 Table 11. Students' eating habits du ring school hours. ................................ .................. 50 Table 12. Students' individual factors affecting girls' school atte ndance and academic performance ................................ ................................ ........................ 52 Table 13. Institutional or national factors to improve girls' school atte ndance and academic performance ................................ ................................ ........................ 55 Table 14. Students distances from and to schools ................................ ........................ 56 Table 15. School factors to improve school attendance and a cademic performance among girls ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 58 Table 16. Family factors to improve school attendance and a cademic performance among girls ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 59 Table 17. Students' individual factors to improve girls' school atte ndance and academic performance ................................ ................................ ........................ 60

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure P age Figure 1. Tertiary enrolment ratio of females to males ................................ ................... 11 Figure 2. Primary school enro lment 2012 2016 ................................ .......................... 12 Figure 3. A pathway for empowered girls from childhood to adulthood ......................... 18 Figure 4. Tanzania an d Mbeya region ................................ ................................ ............ 19 Figure 5. Conceptual frame work ................................ ................................ .................... 22 Figure 6. Number of girls who drop out from secondary school due to pregnancy in Tanzania, by region ................................ ................................ ............................. 28 Figure 7. Education budget distribution ................................ ................................ .......... 31 Figure 8. Problem tree analysis. ................................ ................................ ..................... 33 Figure 9. Students' responses on availability of school resources. ................................ 46 Figure 10. Factors affecting school attendance and perfomance. ................................ 54 Figure 11. Stakeholders who may improve girls' school attendance and academic performance. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 63

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9 ABSTRACT The focus of this study was to identify factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary school, especially on Form Four national examinations, together with factors that lead to improved school attendance and academic performance among girls. The four main objectives of the study were to determine: 1) how do attendance and performance compare between girls and boys; 2) the factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance; 3) what can be done to improv e school attendance and academic performance among girls; and 4) which stakeholders can play a role in order to improve school attendance and academic performance? Six secondary schools in Mbeya rural district were examined. T he study included 98 responden ts: 71 students, 20 teachers and 7 parents. The data were collected from school records, questionnaires and focus group discussions. Government and non governmental reports and documents, together with other literature, were consulted within and beyond Tan zania. The respondents from questionnaire and focus group participants mentioned many factors that affect school attendance and academic performance among girls, such as pregnancies, long distances from schools, cultural practices and family poverty. They also mentioned factors that can support better attendance and academic performance, such as building a hostel for girls, as well as cooperation and education among between teachers, students and parents. Stakeholders highlighted as key to overcome the chal lenges the complementary roles of students, teachers, parents and the government.

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10 CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION The provision of education for all children, specifically in secondary schools, has been a focus of many G overnmental and Non Governmental Organizations (Thomas and Rugambwa, 2011). However, there are gender specific challenges in attendance and in academic performance on final secondary education examinations around the world. As a result, some countries show an equitable balance in secondary education achievement and others face difficulties in meeting educational objectives either for boys or for girls. Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is among the few regions with comparatively low attendance and poor academic perf ormance of girls in final secondary education examinations compared to boys (Lugayila, 2014). For instance, The Economist (2015) highlighted the successful trend of girls' enrolment in tertiary schools across different regions of the world since 1970. Howe ver, contrary to all other regions, in Sub Saharan Africa girls' enrolment in tertiary school compared to boys has decreased since 2000 (Figure 1). In this sense, Tanzania characterizes many countries in Sub Saharan Africa in which low attendance and poor academic performance among girls in education, specifically at the secondary level, has been a great obstacle. This was one of the serious challenges for the Tanzanian government in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially goal number three, "To promote gender equality and empower women" (Ellis, 2007). Several organizations including Action Aid, Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) Tanzania and Salvation Army are working in Tanzania to promote girls' education in order to close the ga p between girls and boys and improve girls' school attendance and academic performance in secondary education.

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11 Figure 1. Tertiary enrolment ratio of females to males (The Economist, 2015). 1.1 Background The overall objectives of public education in Tanzania are to equip students with academic and vocational skills, morals and ethics. However, these objectives have not been achieved equitably for all young people, due to variation in school attendance and academic performance at both primary and secon dary levels. In Tanzania, the education system includes pre primary, primary, secondary and higher learning education (Shel, 2007). At the primary education level there are equal opportunities for education, and only small gaps in attendance and academic

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12 p erformance in which girls outperform boys, thus leading to an increase in the number of girls enrolling in ordinary secondary education (MOEVT, 2016). The positive achievement has been made possible by the government of Tanzania abolishing school fees and making primary education mandatory for children from 7 to 14 years old, through the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) (Okkolin et al. 2010). These measures brought about an increase of 43.1% in enrolment of pupils in primary education from 200 2 to 2006. The current primary school enrolment rates are about 69% in 2016 (MOEVT, 2016) (Figure 2). Figure 2. Primary school enrolment 2012 2016 (MOEVT, 2016).

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13 However, accessibility, attendance and academic performance of boys and girls in secondary education has not been equitable. Although boys and girls are very close in attendance rates and completion of primary and secondary school, there are two specific a reas where girls underperform boys. The first is the attendance rate for students in Form Four, and the second is exam performance on the Form Four National Examination, leading directly to attendance rates in advanced level secondary school. In terms of a cademic performance in national examinations, there is a notable gap, and boys have better performance on exams compared to girls. MOEVT (2016) highlighted the academic performance on the Form Four national examination from 2014 2015 in nine subjects: civi cs, kiSwahili, English language, history, biology, geography, basic mathematics, physics and chemistry. The results revealed better performance among boys in almost all subjects except in kiSwahili where girls performed better than boys. In addition, on Ta nzania's Form Two national examination conducted in 2011, across 4,187 centers with 418,974 candidates, only 45.4% of the candidates passed the examination: 77,388 girls and 112,871 boys (Lugayila, 2014). In terms of attendance, there are also notable gap between girls and boys. In 2007, 235,537 boys and 212,909 girls enrolled in Form One. Of these, the students who sat for the Form Four national exam in 2011 constituted only 80.7% of enrolled boys and 60.4% of enrolled girls (Kalinga, 2013). Boys outnumbe r girls in attendance and completion of advanced level secondary schools. For example in 2006, at ordinary level secondary schools, about 47.5% of those enrolled were girls compared to 52.7% boys, while at advanced level secondary schools, girls' enrolment dropped to 40.5%, and to 32.5% at the public university level (UNICEF, 2010). In 2009/2010, girls comprised

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14 40.5% of students enrolled in private universities, compared to 33.3% in public universities (UNICEF, 2010). The attendance and academic performanc e gap in secondary school between girls and boys affects female enrolment in higher education (Okkolin et al. 2010). The inability of many girls to complete secondary education creates challenges for young women and for Tanzanian development. Many girls w ho drop out and fail secondary schools move to urban areas where they work as babysitters or maids. In these positions they are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, even leading to prostitution, which increases their vulnerability to diseases such as HIV/ AIDS (Dungumaro, 2013). A lower proportion of girls and women who pursue higher education, which increases their ability to maintain good health and who find good employment, lowers the population's net capacity to contribute to social and economic develop ment of the society. 1.2 Statement of the issue In Tanzania, there are serious challenges to fulfilling educational commitments and goals, thereby jeopardizing future opportunities for both boys and girls. This study focuses on specific factors that affec t girls. Low school attendance and poor academic performance in education is a serious problem for girls and boys in many areas of Tanzania. For example in Chunya district, Mbeya region, 487 boys and 591 girls were enrolled in Form One in 2006. Only 377 bo ys (77%) and 294 girls (50%) succeeded in completing Form Four in 2009 (Kalinga, 2013). The situation is particularly serious for Form Four students in Mbeya rural district. According to MOEVT (2017) a total of 4098 candidates sat for Form Four national ex ams in 2016 in Mbeya rural district, and only 2893 (71%) passed the exams compared to Form Two national exams in which a total of 3733 candidates sat for exams and 3467 passed the exams (93%).

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15 Girls who drop out of school face gender specific challenges, increasing their vulnerability to sexual assault, unwanted pregnancies, and marriage practices that expose them to diseases such as HIV/AIDS. These same factors also can cause girls to drop, for example pregnancy, cultural practices, as well as long distan ces to school. In contrast, boys drop out to engage in activities such as mining extraction, motorcycle (bodaboda) transport services, and plantation labor. 1.3. Researcher experience and interest in the study (i) Experience as a female student My nam e is Grace Aloyce Kihombo, I am a Tanzanian woman. My life began in rural Njombe, Tanzania, where social services are scarce and where most women are the center of life in terms of taking care of children and carrying out the main agricultural activities. My early understanding that women could benefit from development support drove me to work hard in school hoping that one day I would become an agent of change in my own community and country. I began the journey of school at Itulahumba primary school for s even years, and I was the only girl among 4 pupils from 84 who were selected to continue with government secondary school. I joined Wanike Secondary School located in Njombe region in January 2000. I was so happy and excited to join secondary school becau se during that time it was very rare for girls to pass and qualify for secondary education especially in rural areas One of the major issues was the practice of involving girls in household activities and discouraging them from concentrating on education. Such issues in evidence in the surrounding community drove my hunger to work extremely hard at the secondary school level. I competed with boys with the goal of gaining a better education that would

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16 enable me to improve opportunities for my life and famil y. In 2003, I was successful when I passed the Form Four national examinations. I was the only female among 38 in my class to be selected to join the government Advanced (Forms Five and Six) Secondary school. I attended the Songea girls high school where t eachers were very good and supportive, and highly motivated for their students to succeed. It is during this time that I decided my future would be in education so that I could help other girls. After two years of study, I sat for the Advanced National Exa mination which I passed with scores good enough to join any Tanzanian University program for a Bachelor's degree. I decided to earn the diploma in Education for two years, from September 2006 to February 2008, at Morogoro teachers' college. (ii) Expe rience as a female teacher After earning my diploma, I was employed by the government of Tanzania as a teacher in April 2008. Serving as a teacher for more than 5 years, I have observed and experienced several barriers to girls' education Therefore, I dec ided to conduct my field practicum to study the factors affecting girls' and boys' school attendance and academic performance. I also sought to collect opinions from parents, students and teachers on challenges to girls' education; as well as suggestions f or improving the situation in order to apply them in my career through teaching students and through collaboration with teachers, parents and other government representatives. One thing that was interesting in my current field study was to see the growing number of girls enrolled, much higher when compared to previous years, but continued challenges for girls in Form Four. 1.4 General objective. The general objective of the study was to identify the factors that affect female school attendance and academic performance, especially on the Form Four national

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17 examination in Mbeya rural district, as well as measures and stakeholders that might improve the current conditions. The following four research questions guided the study. 1. How do girls compare to boys in attendance and academic performance on Form Four national examinations in selected schools in Mbeya rural district? 2. What factors contribute to attendance and performance among girls compared to boys? 3. What can be don e to improve school attendance and performance of girls on Form Four national examinations? 4. What stakeholders can contribute to improve girls' school attendance and academic performance? 1. 5 Significance of the study The current study generates recommen dations and suggestions which will be key in providing equal access for both girls and boys to education, hence improving girls' school attendance and academic performance for the benefit of girls themselves, their parents and the nation. The study is impo rtant because educated women have positive impacts on Tanzania's development (Figure 3), and because uneducated women, as a group, are more easily marginalized by employers, government, social systems, and national and international organizations.

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18 Figur e 3. A pathway for empowered girls from childhood to adulthood (Linklater s 2010). The study provides suggestions specifically to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) and to other education stakeholders such as the Salvation Army in T anzania on suitable interventions that enhance girls' retention in secondary school. In addition, the study provides valuable information about girls' school attendance and academic performance gathered from students, parents and teachers. Finally, the i nformation collected and presented here will be used to guide further research. 1. 6 Scope and context of the study This study was conducted in six secondary schools (Itundu, Mpesu, Santilya, Mwakipesile, Isuto and Ilembo) in Mbeya rural district. Mbeya ru ral district is among the eight districts in Mbeya region of Tanzania bordered by Mbalali and Chunya districts in the north, Mbeya urban and Rungwe districts in the south, Rungwe district in the east

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19 and Iringa region in the west. The district is located i n the southern highlands of Tanzania, between latitudes 7 o and 9 o South and between longitudes 33 o and 34 o East (Shitundu and Luvanga 1998). The district has an area of about 2432 square kilometers and a population of approximately 310,000 people. Tropical savanna and wooded grassland are the main vegetation types found in Mbeya rural district (Figure 4). The district has average tempe ratures that range between 12 o C and 30 o C, and average annual rainfall between 650 mm and 2700 mm. The economic activities of the people in Mbeya rural district include livestock keeping, agriculture, mining and forestry as the main sources of income. Howev er, agriculture is the main activity, which contributes more than 85% of the district's domestic product (Namwata et al ., 2010; Exavery et al ., 2012). Figure 4. Tanzania and Mbeya region (Amritzer, 2014).

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20 The major limitation that the researcher fa ced was inadequate funding to travel from one place to another to collect data from respondents, since there was no public transport available. 1. 7 Host organization Salvation Army is a Christian organization that began its work in Tabora, Tanzania, in 1933 (Merritt, 2006). Its mission includes preaching the word of God and meeting human needs without discrimination. The Salvation Army organization supports orphans and vulnerable children and their families impacted by HIV/AIDS through the Mama Mkubwa (B ig Mother) program by providing psychosocial support which includes guidance, counseling, and school uniforms and fees. Currently the organization runs two schools and aims to increase attendance in education and enhance performance among Tanzanian childre n. The first school is Matumaini residential primary school located in Dar es Salaam for children with disabilities and albinism, and the second is an ordinary level school, Itundu secondary, located at Ilembo in Mbeya region (Winter 2006). An ordinary lev el secondary school comprises Form One to Form Four. Salvation Army asked me specifically to identify what constraints girls face in terms of school attendance and performance so that they can be addressed in order to prepare girls for high level secondar y school, Forms Five and Six, that provide access to universities. 1. 8 Conceptual Framework This study was conceptualized within a framework designed to understand how different factors contribute to girls' school attendance and academic performance. The

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21 framework brings together four factors, namely inputs, process, output and outcome (Figure 5). Inputs In order to improve attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary schools it is important to understand the input factors that contribute to their academic performance and school attendance Government capital and family economic status are some of the inputs that affect girls' school attendance and performance. Education and training policies are fundamental inputs that should be considered before establishing an intervention for overcoming poor attendance and academic performance among gir ls in secondary schools. If policies for education and training are not academic friendly, it will be difficult for any intervention to generate positive impacts. Process The process includes teaching and learning Therefore, in order to improve school at tendance and academic performance among girls on the Form Four examination there must be motivation among teachers and students, as well as an environment conducive to learning which includes sufficient classrooms, books, laboratories, dormitories and libr aries. Outputs These are the products of inputs and process. For the purpose of this study, Form Four national examination results are the products or outputs of government policies, training policies, family economic status, and the learning and teaching process.

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22 Outcomes The key outcomes assessed in this study are the rate of girls' school attendance and academic performance on national examinations, rates that are conceptualized as the product of input, process and output. School attendance and academic performance depend on the qualities of inputs, process and outputs. Figure 5. Conceptual framework (modified from Nyalusi, 2013).

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23 1.9 Organization of the study This report has five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, sta tement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, significance of the study, limitations of the study, conceptual framework and organization of the study. The second chapter discusses factors affecting school attendance and academic performa nce among girls in Tanzania and other areas in the world. The third chapter presents detailed research methods that were applied during the study. The fourth chapter presents the findings of the study and a discussion of these findings. The fifth chapter p resents conclusion and recommendations. The bibliography presents references for further information on the subject matter, and the appendices include the instruments used for data collection.

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24 CHAPTER TWO : F ACTORS AFFECTING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN TANZANIA Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is among the few regions of the world with comparatively low school attendance and poor academic performance of girls in final secondary education examinations compared to boys (Lugayila, 2014). Tanzania is one country in SSA where girls face particular challenges resulting in low school attendance and poor academic performance on the Form Four national exam. Many girls after dropping out or failing Form Four exams move to urban areas where they work as babys itters, maids or sex workers. In these positions they are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, which increases their vulnerability to diseases such as HIV/AIDS (Lugalla, 2003). If the girls return home, they sometimes transmit these diseases to others, le ading to a major problem in the region and country as a whole (Dungumaro, 2013). A study by UNICEF (1999) on gender dimensions of educational barriers in Bangladesh and Botswana found that, in the late 20 th century in those countries, girls were educationally disadvantaged compared to boys. Barriers to equality in education identified in the study include household poverty, inequality in household gender roles, discriminatory cultural practices, inadequate e ducational infrastructure, inadequate legal framework and lack of enforcement of laws (Table 1). Several of these factors also affect school attendance and academic performance in Form Four national examinations among young girls in Tanzania.

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25 Table 1. Ba rriers to education and the gender dimension in developing countries (UNICEF, 1999).

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26 2.1 Household poverty In many areas of Tanzania there are greater obligations for girls to perform domestic chores at home than for boys (Machimu and Minde, 2010). Most girls are expected to carry out work in domestic households and agriculture, while their parents themselves often work far from home in order to sustain the family. Most families will expect boys to watch over animals during the day, and when the anim als come home boys will be sitting in the dining room or studying while waiting for food. But due to their domestic responsibilities, girls may not be able to attend school regularly thus leading to poor academic performance on national exams. 2.2 Long di stance to school Long distance walks from home to school cause many girls to miss classes or entire school days, and to drop out of school, thus leading to low school attendance and

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27 poor performance on Form Four national exams (Okkolin et al. 2010). In m ost rural areas, each ward has approximately 10 villages, but only one secondary school to serve members from all these villages, and the majority of these schools are day schools, where students are required to walk long distances each day to and from sch ool. In such an environment girls fall into temptations by non school males and school boys as they make their way to and from school. Exposure to sexual violence is a greater risk for girls commuting longer distances (Mbelwa and Isangula 2012). 2.3 Preg nanc y Pregnanc y among secondary school girls is another big challenge for attendance and academic performance in secondary education. According to the Global Campaign for Education (GCE, 2012), about 25 000 girls in Tanzania left school between 2007 and 20 09 due to pregnancies alone, contributing to the significant gap between males and females completing secondary school, and thus affecting females enrolling in higher education institutions. Uromi (2014) reported more than 8,000 girls dropping out each yea r due to pregnancies alone. A report by UNICEF (2010) indicated that Mbeya region is the 1 st out of 23 with respect to dropout rates of girls from secondary school due to pregnancy alone in 2010 (Figure 6). In most schools, once girls are known to be pregn ant, they are expelled. Only a few of these girls return to school later to continue with their education, because the parents need to find a new school and most private schools are expensive. Therefore, many girls stay home after their pregnancies and tak e care of their babies, or leave their children with their parents and move to towns where many are exposed to a dangerous environment and engage in illegal activities.

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28 Figure 6. Number of girls who drop out from secondary school due to pregnancy in Tanzania, by region (UNICEF, 2010). 2.4 Cultural practices In addition to pregnancies affecting unmarried girls, early marriages and cultural practices contribute to low attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary school (UNESCO, 2012). In some societies in Tanzania, traditional norms and religions encourage girls to drop out from school and get married because there is an expectation that girls need to be married at a certain age. Some cultural practices such as genital mutilation requir e girls to stay out of school temporarily or permanently ( Unterhalter and Heslop, 2011) These practices lead some parents to pull girls out of school as soon as they reach maturity in order to prepare them for marriage.

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29 2.5 Cell phones and consumer desire s Another issue that has been raised by some authors is the concern that, with advances in telecommunication technology, girls who own cell phones are distracted and cannot concentrate on schoolwork (Mbelwa and Isangula 2012). Money and goods they receive from men, such as expensive telephones, tempt girls lacking in maturity. Desires for expensive and modern materials, which include perfumes and clothes, accelerate the involvement of some school girls in sexual activities with wealthy as well as older mal es. If they risk unsafe sex and have unplanned pregnancies, they are more likely to reduce school attendance, academic performance, and even to drop out from school (Mbelwa and Isangula 2012). 2.6 Lack of role models The lack of diverse role models for g irls is another challenge to attendance and academic performance of girls in secondary schools. Haki Elimu (2014) highlighted the inadequate number of female teachers only 34.5% of female teachers compared to 65.5% of male teachers around the nation. And m ost female teachers preferred to work in urban areas rather than rural areas. In most rural areas there are few positive female role models in academic fields such as female teachers. Most female role models in rural areas are conducting simple jobs such a s selling in the market, cooking and serving food. This contributes to many school girls believing that even without formal education women can earn money, and encourages some girls to drop out from school and join such activities. 2.7 School infrastructure and staffing School infrastructure is another challenge contributing to low school attendance and poor academic performance among girls in secondary schools. Most schools have

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30 few or no books, classrooms, toilets, laboratories, water and li braries (Sumra and Katabaro, 2014). For example in 2013 in Mbeya rural district the secondary enrolment was about 156,584, but the district had only 4,976 latrines, or one latrine for every 30 students (MOEVT, 2014). This situation is exacerbated by the in sufficient government budget for education. The abolition of school fees in primary school and secondary school has led to increased enrolment in secondary school from 24.4% in 2008 to 36.6% in 2012 (Haki Elimu, 2014). But the increase in enrolment is not matched with an adequate supply of teaching and learning facilities. This has led to a decline in secondary academic performance ( Sumra and Rajani, 2006). According to Ministry of Education and Vocation Training (MOEVT), the Form Four national exam pass r ate was 57.1% in 2013 compared to 91.5% in 2004 (MOEVT, 2014). In most cases, the schools depend on capital from government. The insufficient budget leads to unconducive educational infrastructure that contributes to low school attendance and poor academic performance among girls. For example, the government budget for 2012/2013 was 1,888,248,989 Tanzanian shillings (about USD 900,000) with 17.4% of the budget for education. The education budget was distributed across four levels with only 7.6% allocated to secondary education (Figure 7). According to the Ministry of Finance (2011), the secondary school enrolment increased from 1,566,685 in 20 0 9/2010 to 1,711,109 in 2010/2011. The budget is not sufficient for the number of youth in a country with a populatio n of about 50 million people and where 47% of the population is under 15 years old (Wijeyesekera, 2011).

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31 Figure 7. Education budget distribution (MoEVT, 2014). Increases in student enrolment have not been matched by increases in teachers to serve the large numbers of students. Mafuru (2011) found that, in Mvomero district in Morogoro region, the need of secondary school teachers in 2008 was estimated to be 542 teachers, however only 117 teachers were employed. At the national level (MOEVT, 2016); girls enrolment was higher than boys' in government schools in Forms I IV but lower in Forms V VI (Table 2). However, few girls continued to Form Five and Six because they dropped out by the end of Form Four, or failed the Form Four national exam. However, the performance of girls in non government schools is better and the number of girls who joined Form Five was higher compared to boys. This is due to the good management and teaching in non government schools where teachers and students are motivated and the school infrastructures are well maintained and academic friendly.

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32 Table 2. Number of secondary students in 2016 (MOEVT, 2016). Type of school Forms Girls Boys Total Male Teacher Female teacher Total Government school I IV 693,756 683,293 1,377,049 55,446 34,108 89,554 V VI 34,230 58,310 92540 Non Government schools I IV 157,070 141,474 298,544 15,277 3,765 19,042 V VI 22,819 16,003 38,822 2.8 Problem tree analysis Figure 8 below is derived from the literature on underlying factors regarding the attendance and performance of girls in secondary schools. The main underlying factors that have been indicated by many authors include inadequate education policies and insuf ficient government capital. The quality of education depends on adequate education policies and sufficient government capital. If these factors (roots) are weak, they will give rise to weak stems manifested here as unskilled teachers, insufficient infrastr ucture and low motivation among teachers and students. As these premature stems continue to grow, they give rise to the problems of low attendance and poor performance among girls in secondary schools, here the stem of the problem. Unplanned pregnancies an d early marriages, rural urban migration among girls and an increase of illiterate women are the branches of the problem. Limited participation of women in civil and political life, girls' engaging in illegal activities and vulnerability to dangerous disea ses such as HIV/AIDS after being in urban areas, insufficient examples

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33 of qualified women to serve as role models, and reduced number of women contributing to society are the fruits of the problem. Figure 8. Problem tree analysis.

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34 2.9 Ways to improve school attendance and performance Achieving better secondary school attendance and higher performance among girls on Form Four national examinations are among the challenges facing the Tanzanian government. The government of Tanzania has implemente d two key strategies in order to improve attendance and performance in education, especially for girls at different levels: eliminating school fees and building more schools. Abolition of school fees in Primary and Secondary education DFID (2006) reports that the Tanzanian government successfully closed the gender gap in primary education, with enrolment by girls rising from 49% to 91% of school age girls in 2005. This increase is explained by several factors: the abolition of school fees, which took place in 2001; making primary education mandatory; crash programs for training more teachers; and sensitization of parents to understanding why it is important to educate girls. This strategy has enabled more Tanzanians, including girls, to access primary educa tion (DFID, 2006). This has enabled most girls to become literate, including the ability to read, write and speak in the Swahili language. In 2016, the government of Tanzania abolished school fees in secondary schools, thereby addressing the problem of pov erty as an obstacle for many girls and boys to access secondary education (Kapinga, 2016). However, failing to learn from the increased enrolment in primary school, the government again has not responded sufficiently to additional infrastructure needs and the training of an adequate number of personnel to manage and deliver educational programs. Building secondary schools in each ward The government of Tanzania implemented another strategy to increase attendance and improve performance among girls in second ary school by building

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35 secondary schools in each ward in 2008 (Mafuru, 2011). Consequently, more students are able to access secondary education. The presence of schools closer to home certainly reduced problems for some girls who risked distraction or ass ault on the way to and from school. The increase in the number of schools could lead to even better effects with the addition of other kinds of infrastructural innovation, which would enhance retention of girls in secondary school. For example, some school s might be built with dormitories, which may help girls to concentrate on school and avoid the risks that may happen on the way to and from school each day.

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36 CHAPTER THREE: M ETHODS This chapter covers the research methodology, research design, research app roaches, targeted population, sample size, sample technique, data collection methods and instruments, data analysis and ethical considerations. 3.1 Scope of the study This study was conducted in six secondary schools in Mbeya rural district, Mbeya region. The study involved five government secondary schools Isuto, Mpesu, Mwakipesile, Santilya, Ilembo and one private secondary school that is Itundu. 3.2 Research design This research used a grounded theory approach to identify the primary influences on fem ale school attendance and examination outcomes. Grounded theory seeks to understand how participants understand the issue of concern according to their experience (Yin, 2011). I nformation on individual opinions and attitudes was collected by administering questionnaires to samples of students, teachers and parents, allowing the study to obtain information directly from the respondents. Questionnaires were designed to allow quantitative analysis of the findings complemented by qualitative interpretation of narratives and descriptions. In this study, both primary and secondary data were collected Primary data were collected in the field by administering the questionnaire to teachers, students and parents as well as through focus group discussions. Secondary data were collected through documentary review such as attendance registers, student enrolment books and Form Four national exam results from the selected schools.

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37 These research findings were analyzed in the context of data and findings drawn from schol arly literature, government data and reports, and from studies produced by development organizations and international agencies. 3.3 Sampling The target population of the study involved Form Four students, teachers and parents in Mbeya rural district. Thi s district with many secondary schools allowed the researcher to gather maximum findings with limited resources and time. Therefore, the strategy was to select schools that were near The Salvation Army's secondary school, as the organization was interested to learn the factors affecting these girls' school attendance and performance. The sample included ninety eight respondents (98): seventy one (71) were students from six secondary schools; twenty (20) were teachers, of whom about 90% had been teaching in their current school for under 10 years; and seven (7) parents, with ages ranged from 35 45 years and all with primary education (Table 3.). Table 3. Sample of respondents. The researcher worked with the teachers of the selected schools to select the participants. At Itundu secondary school, the researcher asked all Form Four students No Category Respondents Total Male Female 1 Students 32 39 71 2 Parents 05 02 07 3 Teachers 09 11 20

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38 to participate, and all did. In the other five schools, the teachers selected ten students from Form Four, five girls and five boys from each school. 3.4 Data collection methods and instrument s. The researcher collected both secondary and primary data. The instruments used to gather primary data were questionnaires and focus group discussions. Three versions of questionnaires were used for teachers, students and parents respectively. Both open ended and closed questions were asked of the respondents in order to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The researcher used open ended questions in order to have general explanations of the specific questions according to each respondent's pe rceptions. The researcher also used closed questions in order to limit the number of answers and thereby to facilitate quantitative analysis. Focus group discussions were chosen as the method that allows researchers to gather perceptions and positions qu ickly with a representative group of people. The method also is good for identifying and explaining ideas, beliefs and opinions of the respondents. The researcher applied this method because of increasing credibility and validity of the results. Thirteen f ocus groups were implemented, where seven involved students, six involved teachers and one involved parents (Table 4). Kalinga (2013) stated that there is no one correct approach regarding to data analysis and evaluation. Questionnaire responses were ana lyzed quantitatively using Microsoft Excel and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The data are presented using percentages, frequencies and tables in order to enhance interpretations and comparisons. Qualitative data were analyzed through putting together the responses and findings that addressed a certain research question, and

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39 then analyzing that information related to the research question. Finally, the data were labeled and coded following the findings of the specific questions. Tabl e 4. Focus group participation. School Group involved Participants Itundu Boy students 9 Girl students 17 Teachers 7 Mpesu Students 10 Teachers 3 Santlya Students 10 Teachers 2 Mwakipesile Students 10 Teachers 6 Isuto Students 10 Teachers 2 Ilembo Students 10 Teachers 7 3.5 Ethical considerations. Ethical principles were given first priority in the study. Prior to the study the researcher completed all required Institutional Review Board (IRB) procedures at the University of Florida and then followed all the approved protocols for collecting data in Tanzania. The names and informatio n given by the respondents remained confidential.

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40 Enough time was given to the respondents to read and understand the information relating to the study. After reading the information, the participants were given a chance to ask questions before consenting to and participating in the study. During the study, all participants were given the right to withdraw at any time.

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41 CHAPTER FOUR : RESULTS AND DISCUSSION This chapter presents findings on the factors affecting school attendance and performance among girl s on Form Four national exams. As explained above, the findings were gathered in six secondary schools (Itundu, Mpesu, Santilya, Mwakipesile, Isuto and Ilembo) in Mbeya rural districts. The findings address the following themes: comparison of school attend ance and performance between girls and boys, factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls, factors that can contribute to improve girls' school attendance and academic performance, and analysis of which stakeholders can play a k ey role in improving girls' school attendance and academic performance. 4.1 Comparison of school attendance and academic performance among girls and boys The first objective was to compare data on school attendance between girls and boys in six secondar y schools (Itundu, Santilya, Mwakipesile, Ilembo, Mpesu and Isuto) in 2013, 2015 and 2016. More girls than boys enrolled every year (Table 5). The numbers of students who dropped out have declined for both boys and girls over this period. However, the drop out rate for girls remained higher, over 14%, which is three times the dropout rate for boys (Table 5). Boys may drop out in order to engage in income generating activities to sustain themselves. The researcher posed questions regarding the activities of b oys after school hours; some boys go to the bus stops to carry passengers' luggage, while others go to work in tea plantations or nearby mining areas to extract minerals such as gold. The activities mentioned by boys are physically exhausting and lead to n egative health repercussions. This contributes to boys having low school attendance and poor academic performance as well.

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42 Table 5. School attendance and dropout rates. Academic year Enrolment of Form Four students (at the beginning of the year) Number of students who dropped out (at the end of the year) Percent (%) 2013 Boys 172 Boys 11 6.4 Girls 175 Girls 33 18.8 2015 Boys 152 Boys 12 7.9 Girls 262 Girls 39 14.9 2016 Boys 153 Boys 6 3.9 Girls 197 Girls 28 14.3 Total Boys Girls 477 633 Boys Girls 29 100 6.1 15.7 Source: School records Similar trends and gaps were also evident in school performance for girls and boys. Again, there were more girls sitting for exams than boys each year. In addition, more girls than boys passed the exam each year. In total, significantly more girls (327) t han boys (280) passed. However, although pass rates are improving for both boys and girls, the proportion of girls passing the exams continues to be lower when compared to boys. The gap has remained steady at around 10% between pass rates for boys and for girls respectively (Table 6).

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43 Table 6. School performance. Academic year No of students who sat for Form Four national examination No of students who passed the exams Percent (%) 2013 Boys 131 Boys 77 58.7 Girls 182 Girls 89 48.9 2015 Boys 152 Boys 98 64.5 Girls 205 Girls 107 52.2 2016 Total Boys 140 Boys 105 75 Girls 199 Girls 131 65.8 Boys Girls 423 586 Boys Girls 280 327 Source: School records. 4.2 Factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls Several studies have categorized the factors affecting school attendance and academic performance in different ways. Kalinga (2013) categorized factors affecting school attendance and performance into three category namely social, economi c, and political. Mlowosa and colleagues ( Mlowosa et al. 2014) looked at the effect of truancy on school attendance and performance. Mugoro (2014) highlighted transportation only and its influence on school attendance and performance. Chinyoka and Naidu (2014) categorized factors influencing school attendance and academic performance into school environment based factors, home based factors and student based factors. In the present report the researcher organized the findings into four categories:

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44 institutional or national factors, school factors, family factors and student individual factors. Institutional or national factors The institutional or national level factors identified in the study include poor school infrastructure, low teacher salaries, limited role models, in sufficient teachers in government secondary schools, pass mark differences in science subjects between boys and girls, and distance from school (Table 7). In Tanzania, the institution is responsible to make sure that the school infrastructure is supportive to students and teachers. However, the teachers highlighted that school learning and teaching resources are insufficient. Parents in turn indicated that teachers are not paid well, which contributes to increased absences of teachers from school, thus caus ing many girls and boys to have low attendance and poor performance as well. The parents argued that, due to low salaries, some teachers are dedicating more time and effort to agriculture than to teaching. Another factor highlighted by respondents is the distance to and from school. The students explained that the schools are built far away from their houses, and the schools do not have living quarters, so as a result the girls have to walk long distances to and from schools. Girls in particular face many dangers when walking to school such as sexual assaults and peer pressure thus affecting their school attendance and academic performance. In addition, parents considered that the number of female teachers is insufficient, especially in rural areas. Teache rs argued that the scarcity of role models like female teachers or other educated employed women in rural areas contributes to low attendance and poor academic performance among girls.

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45 Most women who may be perceived as role models in rural areas are con ducting simple jobs such as selling in the market, or cooking and serving food. This contributes to many schoolgirls believing that even without formal education women can earn money, and this encourages some girls to drop out from school and join such act ivities. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has set a low science subject pass rate for girls to be qualified to continue to advanced secondary school (Forms Five and Six) compared to boys. Teachers think the differential test policy discou rages girls since these formal measures imply that boys have more academic ability than girls. Table 7. Institutional or national factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance. Although students did not mention insufficient resources as a key factor, when asked directly about the availability of resources, students agreed that most school resources were not sufficient (Figure 9). Both girls and boys are affected, but the lack of female teachers, girls' latrines and hostels has gender specific effects on girl's school attendance and performance. Causes Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Poor school infrastructure 6 8 Low salaries for teachers 3 2 Few role models 7 8 Insufficient teachers in government schools 5 1 Distance from school 20 26 Different pass mark for girls and boys 7 11

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46 Figure 9. Students' responses on availability of school resources. When asked directly about their residence, three quarters of girl st udents and one boy indicated that they stay in lodgings a considerable distance from their parents because their houses are located far away from schools. Few of them responded that they stay with parents. It is dangerous for a student to live alone, and t his is especially true for girls (Table 8). Table 8. Students' residences. Boys Girls With parents 20 7 Far away from home 21 20

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47 For example, two comments from the focus group discussions with students and parents respectively are as follow: Student 1 (girl) The distance from home to school is very long. I have to walk for almost one hour before getting to school at 7:00 am. When I get to school late the teacher always gives a punishment, which sometime takes a whole day without going to the class. In addition, on the way some village men are forcing me to have a relationship with them by promising good things like clothes, money and modern phones. Parent 1 Some parents are not following the school progress report of their daughters. For exam ple, some girls are staying far away from parents and some parents do not know where their daughters live. This causes some girls to live with boyfriends as husband and wife, with the results that the girls lose school concentration and sometime get pregna nt and leave school. School factors Factors related to school that influence girls' school attendance and performance include corporal punishment, sexual assaults by teachers, diseases and rules prohibiting the attendance of pregnant girls in schools (Ta ble 9). Corporal punishment is still used by teachers to punish students for academic mistakes or other behavior violations in schools. Many girls and boys highlighted corporal punishment as a barrier to school attendance and academic performance. Sexual a ssaults as mentioned by

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48 teachers meant the force used by men to force girls to engage in sexual acts against their will. Teachers reported that some teachers coerce girls to have sex by promising them to help in studies and other needs. If the girls get pr egnant, they are expelled from school and the Tanzanian government does not allow a pregnant girl to come back to school after delivery (Maluli and Bali, 2014) Table 9. School factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance. Another focus group statement is given below: Student 2 (boy) Some male teachers have the tendency of forcing girls to have love affairs with them. In a nearby school, I had my friend who was made pregnant by a teacher. After becoming pregnant, the teacher bribed her parents to chase her far away. Now my friend s lives in Morogoro with her sister and the school does not know where she is. Causes Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Rules forbidding pregnancy 32 37 5 2 9 5 Corporal punishment 32 37 Diseases 20 25 Sexual assaults by teachers 7 6

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49 Family factors Factors related to families that influence girls' school attendance and academic performance includes family poverty, poor cooperation between teachers and paren ts, home chores and cultural practices (Table 10). Parents' poverty causes girls to feel inferior because they have insufficient school resources. Due to these feelings of inferiority, the respondents argued that the girls are uncomfortable participating i n academic activities so some of them decide to skip classes and others leave the school entirely. Moreover, most parents argued that the current level of cooperation between teachers and parents is not sufficient. Some parents just tell their children to go to school, but the parents have neither been to the schools where their children study nor know the children's teachers. Table 10. Family factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance. Only students mentioned cultural practices during the study. They include traditional and customary practices among ethnic groups in Mbeya region that cause some girls to have low attendance and poor performance due to trauma. Examples of Causes Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Family poverty 19 22 4 1 8 10 Poor cooperation between parents and teachers 3 2 Home chores 3 2 Cultural practices 21 27

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50 cultural practice s include initiation rituals to shape adolescent sexuality. After initiation rituals, girls may be sexuality active resulting in pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Home chores are another reason mentioned by parents, but not by students, as a hindrance to girls' school attendance and academic performance. In rural areas there are greater expectations for girls to perform domestic chores at home than boys. Most girls are required to carry out work in households and agriculture, while their paren ts often work far from home in order to sustain the family. The researcher also asked students what activities they usually undertake after getting home. Most girls mentioned activities such as cooking, taking care of their siblings, helping parents on the farm and fetching water. As described above, some boy students reported engaging in after school activities to earn money. Few of them stated that they e at and study. Family poverty as highlighted by teachers, students and teachers has a big impact on sch ool attendance and performance in secondary schools. When asked about their eating habits during school hours, most students responded that they do not eat up to evening, and this affects their academic performance. A few of them did indicate that they eat in restaurants, and others leave school and go back home to acquire food, which leads to poor attendance (Table 11). Table 11. Students' eating habits during school hours. Eating habit to students during school hours Boys Girls I do not eat up to evening when I get home 20 23 I buy food in restaurants 1 0 I leave school and go home to look for food 11 3

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51 Focus group comments from students, parents, and teachers are provided below: Student 3 (girl) Most of the time there is no breakfast at home and the school does not provide breakfast and lunch. Therefore, I have to leave school during class hours and go back home to search for some food. Sometime I do not eat anything up to evening, and that makes me tired to listen to teachers during class ho urs. Parent 2 I do not have children in secondary school but I am living near to parents who have a student (girl) in secondary school. I always see that girl busy with so many activities such as fetching water and cooking after getting back from school. I don't know what time she uses to study. This can be one of the reasons that causes girls to underperform in academics. Parent 3 One thing we have to do as parents is to help our children in preparing foods soon after getting home from school. Some pare nts do not care about cooking for their schoolchildren. Sometimes you may find many children (girls) walking around the bush to find firewood and water that put their life at risk, and girls are especially at risk to be sexually assaulted.

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52 Teacher 1 Some students come to school without eating anything and from far away on foot. When we teach, the probability of these students understanding is very low, that is why some of them decide to leave school and why some perform poorly. Students' individual factors The factors grouped in this category include sexual activity, feeling inferior, peer pressure and needs of having luxurious things (Table 12). Sexual activity can result in pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Girls face peer pressure from other girls who dropped out or skip school. Some girls desire luxuries such as phones and clothes beyond their parents' means. This leads girls to engage in sexual activities with wealthy as well as older males and other unlawful acts such as drug abuse. I f they risk unsafe sex and have unplanned pregnancies, they are more likely to miss school, drop out of school or have poor academic performance. Table 12. Students' individual factors affecting girls' school attendance and academic performance. Causes Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Peer pressure 20 26 Local beliefs 22 27 Needs for luxurious things 21 26 Sexual activity 7 8 Feeling inferior 7 6

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53 In one of the conversations with a student, she stated that: Student 4 (girl) One of my friends dropped out from school last year and she went to Dar es Salaam. During December, she came back. She was really in a good condition with a smart phone and good clothes. My parents did not want to see her in our house because they thought I could change my mind and leave school and go to town with my friend. Figure 10 integrates the underlying factors affecting school attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary schools. Risk factors stemming from these underlying factors are presented in the second column of the Figure. Finally the outcome of these underlying and risk factors is that many girls have poor school attendance and academic performance.

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54 Figure 10. Factors affecting school attenda nce and perfomance 4.3 What can be done to improve girls' academic performance and school attendance? In this section, the researcher divides into four categories the participant perceptions on measures that might be taken to improve girls' school attend ance and academic performance. The categories are institutional or national, school, family and students' individual factors discussed below. Institutional or national factors According to teachers, parents and students, one way to improve girls' academic performance and school attendance is to provide education to parents so that they recognize the importance of providing equal educational opportunities to boys and girls,

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55 and so that they follow up on their children's progress (Table 13). In addition, gove rnmental provision of school needs on time is an important factor for improving girls' school attendance and academic performance. Most resources provided by the government such as books, teachers and capital funds are not delivered on time to the schools. If this can be improved, there is a good possibility of increasing attendance and performance among girls. Table 13. Institutional or national factors to improve girls' school attendance and academic performance. Factors Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Education to parents 27 33 4 1 9 4 Building hostels for girls 22 29 4 2 5 9 Elimination of school fees and other contributions 23 29 Equal pass for both girls and boys 5 9 Other important factors mentioned by students include the elimination of school fees and other contributions, and building hostels for girls. Although the government has already eliminated the school fees in government schools, the students highlighted that the government should think abou t eliminating other contributions, as well as revise the school fees and other contributions to private schools. The equal pass as highlighted by teachers meant to eliminate the different pass rates between girls and boys in science

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56 subjects. Most female t eachers urged the elimination of the differential policy as one solution to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls. Another suggestion was to build hostels for both girls and boys. Most students have to walk every day between 0.5 3 kilometers to go to school (Table 14). Table 14. Students' distances from and to schools. Distance from and to schools Boys Girls 0.5 1 kilometers 22 18 1 3 kilometers 10 9 The group discussion with the teachers elicited the following comments: Teacher 2 The abolition of school fees as the strategy by government to improve school attendance and performance was a good idea, but the government should think about other contributions where the sum of these contributions is more than school fees. Also as a result of school fee elimination, the government should supply the materials such as chalk and books on time. In my school, some times we used to go to nearby schools to borrow chalk and books. Teacher 3 To abolish low school attendance and poor ac ademic performance among girls is possible. This can be done through cooperation between teachers and parents, as we are all guardians of the girls. Also, the benefit of teachers and improved school

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57 infrastructure should be considered. Most private schools which have good teacher salaries and improved school infrastructure, have good school attendance and academic performance by girls. School factors Elimination of corporal punishment was among the factors highlighted by students and parents (Table 1 5), who argued that teachers should be given guidelines on how to punish students, because some kinds of punishment given by teachers lead students to drop out from school. A student comment from a focus group discussion is provided below: Student 4 I think if the teacher should address the good way of punishing students this can help to improve school performance and attendance. I remember last year 3 students were expelled from school because the teachers found them with cellphones and we are not allo wed to have them. However, the teachers, instead of taking those cellphones to keep them and perhaps call the students' parents to take them, they assembled us and told the students to break their phones with stones in front of us. 10 students did and 3 de nied and were expelled from school due to misbehaving. For me I think what the teachers did was unfair. In addition, gender education for girls was among the factors highlighted by students; this can be done by providing special guidance and counseling in the classroom in order to understand the important of education to better their lives.

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58 Table 15. School factors to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls. Moreover, both teachers and parents highlighted the need for good cooperation between girls and teachers in order to improve girls' school attendance and performance. Teachers also mentioned motivation for girls as an important factor to consider. The part icipants suggested this could be implemented in schools through rewards and recognition of different talents among girls. In addition, education to parents could be achieved in schools through meetings with parents and teachers to discuss student progress reports and school in general. Family factors Good cooperation between parents and teachers was raised by parents as an important strategy at the family level (Table 16). This can be done through teacher parent meetings to discuss with their students' an d daughters' attendance and Factors Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Elimination of corporal punishment 24 22 Good cooperation between teachers and parents 4 2 9 4 Good cooperation between teachers and girls 4 1 5 8 Motivation for girls 5 8 Gender education to girls 19 26

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59 academic. Also motivation for girls can be boosted at the family level, if parents express their appreciation for girls' education in general as well as for their own daughters' academic achievements. Table 16. Family factors to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls. Factors Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Good cooperation between teachers and parents 4 2 9 4 Motivation for girls 5 8 Gender education to girls 19 26 Parents made the following observations during focus group discussions: Parent 4 I have my neighbor and his child is in private school at Mbeya urban. He always tells me when he is going to his child's school for a meeting to look after his cows. His child graduated last year and passed well and now she joined at advanced level secondary school. If this meeting can be done in both schools even he re in Itundu village this can be helpful to strengthen the cooperation between teachers and parents. I never see any kind of meeting in our nearby school.

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60 Parent 5 Some parents just tell their children to go to a nearby school to find accommodation during the school days. I am living near one student a girl and for more than a week now, I usually see a man coming from the same room. I don't have any action to do because I do not know her parents or teacher. Students' individual factors Good cooperation be tween teachers and students/girls can be implemented directly with students. During the study, teachers and parents highlighted the good attendance and academic performance of those students who have good cooperation with their teachers (Table 17). Table 17. Students' individual factors to improve girls' school attendance and academic performance. Factors Students Parents Teachers Male Female Male Female Male Female Good cooperation between teachers and girls 4 1 7 8 In focus group discussions, teachers and parents observed the following: Teacher 4 Some of the girls usually like to sit at back of the class for the aim of hiding them to be known by the teachers. Most of them never come to the office to ask any question about their studies. I hope if the girls and teachers will have good cooperation this will help to

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61 improve academic performance among them. We have a very bright Form Two girl in our school and she always disturb teachers with so many questions. She is really doing well in her class and out performs boys in each subject. Parent 6 If the teacher will act as guardian to the students this will help more to improve the school attendance and academic performance. Looking on the previous years, teachers were interested to know the parents of their students for the aim of informing them the progress report of their students. In our nearby primary school the teachers have good cooperation with students and parents as well. And this helps because in primary school almost all students usually pass the national exams. If this can be done in secondary levels it can be a useful strategy as well. As results of questionnaire and focus group findings, the principal measures suggested to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary schools include: building hostels for girls, gender education for girls, improving school infrastructures and teachers' salaries, education to parents on the importance of education for both genders, and on time provision of government school needs. 4. 4 Which stakeholders can improve girls' school attendance and academic performance? The question concerning which stakeholders can play a role in improving girls' school attendance and academic performance was posed to participants both in questio nnaires and in focus groups. Although I meant to identify the main stakeholder

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62 to be responsible, the respondents highlighted an array of different stakeholders according to their perspectives on what the latter can contribute to perceived solutions. Many of the respondents argued that school attendance and performance among girls is not a responsibility of one stakeholder alone, but many stakeholders must collaborate to improve the situation. Students identified themselves to be the most important stake holder followed by parents, government, and lastly teachers (Figure 11). Parents also considered themselves as well as students to be the most important followed by government, teachers, and community. In Tanzania, people believe that "someone else's child is your child," and that is why the parents considered the community to be responsible for the improvement of girls' school attendance and academic performance. However, neither teachers nor students mentioned the community as an important stakeholder. Fi nally, teachers considered parents to be the most important stakeholder followed by teachers themselves, students, and government. In one of the focus group discussions with teachers, the response was as follows: Teacher 5 Improving school attendance a nd academic performance is not a matter of one stakeholder alone. Students themselves must make sure that they study hard and escape all temptations, because some challenges are under their control. In addition, teachers must be regarded as a mediator betw een parents and government to teach

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63 and respect all students. Parents and government as well are important stakeholders to make sure that the student has a conducive environment at home and at school as well. Figure 11. Stakeholders who may improve girls' school attendance and academic performance.

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64 CHAPTER FIVE : CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 Conclusions Tanzania has made great progress in promoting girls' education, and girls now equal or outnumber boys in both primary and secondary schools, at public schools as well as at private NGO administered schools. The abolition of school fees and the construction of secondary schools in every ward across the country have contributed greatly to these achievements. However, school attendance and academic performance are still serious problems among girls in Mbeya Rural District, specifically in Form Four which is the gateway from ordinary level secondary to advanced level secondary and tertiary education. The study found a gap of 10% in the pass rate between girls and boys, and a dropout rate three times higher for girls in Form Four. Therefore, in Form Four and hi gher, boys outnumber and outperform girls. This problem does not only affect the community to which they belong, in Mbeya district, but also the nation at large. The Tanzanian government must resolve this problem in order to meet its commitments to the S ustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most importantly SDG 4, "to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education" But quality education for girls in Tanzania also affects, and is affected by, several other SDGs, as detailed below. SDG 1: end poverty in all its forms everywhere Educated girls have many more employment opportunities, with both government and private institutions, compared to those who lack this important key to life, and therefore more opportunities to improve their livelihoods and to kee p themselves and their children out of poverty. In turn, higher

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65 household incomes will allow more children, and particularly girls, to continue their educations to the advanced secondary and tertiary levels. SDG 2: end hunger, achieve food security, improv e nutrition and promote agriculture. Generally, in Tanzania women are the main producers of agricultural commodities and spend more time in caring for children (Ellis 2007). Education and training for girls related to agriculture and nutrition will therefo re contribute improvements in these areas among girls who do not continue their educations, while higher numbers of girls continuing their educations can contribute even more as researchers and scientists to Tanzania's food security and nutrition challenge s. At the same time, improved food security allowing schoolchildren to eat three meals every school day will increase school performance and attendance. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages. Education leads to better healt h outcomes, both for women themselves and for their family as well. As women's education levels increase, family size tends to decrease and this can also contribute to healthier children. Any measures to improve maternal and newborn health contribute to im proved development of young children and in turn stronger learning abilities. Any measures to improve health of schoolchildren further increase school attendance and academic performance. SDG 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Even before the SDGs were ratified in 2015, Tanzania had demonstrated its commitment to women's rights by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1979 (Ellis 2007). Therefore, improving girls' education is one of the best ways to empower women, allowing them greater social and economic

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66 independence. Girls, and their parents, in turn will be more strongly motivated to continue their education if they are supported by larger numbers of women teach ers, and if they have more educated women as role models. SDG 8: promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Advanced secondary and university education can help women to attain high er paying positions, and to be more productive in their economic activities, thereby contributing more strongly to Tanzania's economic growth. In turn, a stronger national economy can generate more resources for Tanzania's education system, generating more funds for school infrastructure, materials, and teachers. SDG 16: promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Improving inclusive societies will provide a more supportive environment for Tanzanian girls to pursue their education to the advanced secondary and tertiary levels. As they become women, they will be empowered by education to participate more fully and effectively in public and private institutions both at the local and the national levels. Considering the many contributions of women at different levels of society, the study concluded with a wakeup call for government and other educational stakeholders such as par ents, students and teachers -as mentioned by respondents -to refine the effectiveness of educational programs and resources to overcome the challenges.

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67 Areas for further research This study focused on factors that affect girls' school attendance and acade mic performance on Form Four national examinations in Mbeya rural district. The study involved Form Four students, teachers, and parents in six secondary schools. It was anticipated that the sample and study area would reveal the factors affecting girls' s chool attendance and academic performance on the Form Four National Examination. I recommend a similar study at schools with marked differences in cultural and economic bases, or example across the whole Mbeya region or in another region in the country. T his is because Form Four is the critical bottleneck in the Tanzanian education system right now, granting exclusive access to the advanced secondary and tertiary education levels. Therefore, more successful strategies for helping girls to pass the Form Fou r National Exam and continue to advanced secondary school must be identified, and new ideas must be tested, for improving school attendance and academic performance. 5.2 Recommendations Based on responses collected from students, parents and teachers, combined with my review of school records and my field observations, a number of different strategies must be applied in order to improve school attendance and academic performance among girls in secondary schools. Some require additional funding, and oth ers do not. Institutional or national recommendations Improvement of school infrastructure such as classrooms, toilets, books, laboratories and desks by government.

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68 Cooperation between government and NGOs in providing guidance and counseling to parents on the importance of education for both genders. Although several non governmental organizations help pregnant students with counseling and vocational training, these organizations are not operating throughout the nation. Therefore, if the government would s tart such a program with broad geographic coverage, more girls will benefit. Provision of guidance by government to teachers on how to treat misbehaving students, replacing corporal punishment with more effective, constructive measures. Motivation to teach ers by parents and government in order to encourage them to work hard. Provision of sufficient salaries to teachers in order to incentivize them to focus on teaching rather than engaging in other income generating activities. Imposition of legal sanctio ns by government on parents or guardians who fail to keep their children in school. Collaboration between government and other education stakeholders such as parents and NGOs in building and operating hostels that will help to retain girls at schools. Sch ool recommendations Introduction of regular teacher parent meetings in order to discuss the progress reports of the students (girls). Collaboration between teachers and parents in order to establish food programs at schools during the day.

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69 Family recom mendations Monthly school visits by parents in order to inform themselves about their children's attendance and academic progress. Equal distribution of home chore responsibilities by parents in order to allow girls to have time to focus on academics. Stud ents' individual recommendations Self motivation by students themselves on valuing the importance of education to better their lives.

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70 References Amritzer, (2014). http://amritzer.blogspot.com/2014/05/today im letting my festival.html Accessed June 11, 2017. Chinyoka, K., & Naidu, N. (2014). Influence of home based factors on the academic performance of girl learners from poverty stricken families: A case of Zimbabwe. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences Dungumaro, E. W. (2013). Consequences of female migration for fam ilies in Tanzania. African Review of Economics and Finance 5(1):46 59. DFID (2006). Girls' education: towards a better future for all First progress report Department for International Development, London. Ellis, A. (2007). Gender and economic growth in Tanzania: Creating opportunities for women World Bank Publications. Washington, D.C. Exavery, A., Mubyazi, G. M., Rugemalila, J., Mushi, A. K., Massaga, J. J., Malebo, H. M., Tena, F., Ikingura, J. K., Malekia, S., Makundi, E. A., R uta, A. S. M., Ogondiek, J. W., Wiketye, V. & Malecela, M. N. (2012). Acceptability of condom promotion and distribution among 10 19 year old adolescents in Mpwapwa and Mbeya rural districts, Tanzania. BMC P ublic H ealth 12:569. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471 2458 12 569 GCE (2012). Gender discrimination in education: The violation of rights to women and Girls Global Campaign for Education. http://www.campaignforeducation.org/docs/reports Accessed July 17, 2017. HakiElimu. (2014). Teaching Effectiveness in Primary a nd Secondary School in Tanzania. HakiElimu, Dar es Salaam. Kalinga, T. S. (2013). Causes of the Dropout in Secondary School in Tanzania: The Case Study of Mbeya, Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Regions Doctoral dissertation The Open University of Tanzania Dar es Salaam Kapinga, O. (2016). Assessment of School Facilities and Resources in the Context of Fee Free Basic Education in Tanzania. Paper Presented at the Quality Education Conference 14 16 December, 2016. Dar es Salaam. Linklaters LLP. (2010). Camfed Governance: Accounting to the Girl. Working Towards a Standard for Governance in the International Development Sector. Rep ort for Camfed. Linklaters, London. Lugalla, J. L. (2003). AIDS, orphans, and development in Sub Saharan Africa: a review of the dilemma of public health and development. Journal of D eveloping S ocieties 19(1):26 46.

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71 Lugayila, E. (2014). Assessment of Factors Influencing Form Four Students' Examination Performance: A Case of Maswa District Doctoral dissertation. The Open University of Tanzania Dar es Salaam. Machimu, G., & Minde, J. J. (2010). Rural Girls' Educational Challenges in Tanz ania: A Case Study of Matrilineal Society. The Social Sciences 5(1):10 15. http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/sscience.2010.10.15 Mafuru, W. L (2011). "Coping with inadequacy: understanding the effects of central teacher recruitment in six ward secondary schools in Tanzania." African Studies Collection, Vol. 32. African Studies Centre, Leiden. Maluli, F., & Bali, T. (2014). Exploring experiences of pregnant and mothering secondary school students in Ta nzania. Research on Humaniti es and Social S ciences 4(1):80 88. Mbelwa, C., & Isangula, K. G. (2012). Teen Pregnancy: Children Having Children in Tanzania. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2028369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2028369 Merritt, M. J. G. (2006). Historical dictionary of the Salvation Army Scarecrow Press New York Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (2014). Pre Primary, Primary and Secondary School Education Statistics. Dodoma, Tanzania. Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (2016). Pre primary, Primary and Secondary Education Statistics in Brief. Dodoma, Tanzania. Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, (2017). Government Open Data Portal http://www.opendata.go.tz Accessed June 18, 2017. Ministry of Finance (2011). Budget Background and Medium Term Fra mework. Dar es Salaam ,Tanzania. Mlowosa, T. P., Kalimang'asi, N., & Mathias, B. D. (2014). The impacts of truancy in academic performance among secondary school students: A case study of Kigamboni Ward in Temeke Municipality Tanzania. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications 4 (11) : 1 5. Mugoro, J. (2014). Transport problems for students and their effects on attendance in community secondary schools in Dar es S alaam city, Tanzania Doctoral dissertation The Open University of Tan zania, Dar es Salaam

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72 Namwata, B. M., Lwelamira, J., & Mzirai, O. B. (2010). Adoption of improved agricultural technologies for Irish potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum ) among farmers in Mbeya Rural district, Tanzania: A case of Ilungu ward. Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences 8 (1): 927 935. Nyalusi, A. E. (2013). Factors Affecting Girls' Academic Performance in Community Secondary Schools A Study of Mbeya City Doctoral dissertation Th e Open University of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam Okkolin, M. A., LehtomŠki, E., & Bhalalusesa, E. (2010). The successful education sector development in Tanzania comment on gender balance and inclusive education. Gender and Education 22 (1):63 71. Shel, T. A. (2007). Gender and Inequity in Education. UNESCO, Paris. Shitundu, J. L., & Luvanga, N. E. (1998). The use of labour intensive irrigation technologies in alleviating poverty in Majengo, Mbeya rural district Research Report No. 98.3. Research on Poverty Alleviation, Dar es Salaam. Sumra, S., & Rajani, R. (2006). Secondary educat ion in Tanzania: Key policy challenges. In Proceedings of Norwegian Post Primary Education Fund for Africa (NPEF) Seminar, Oslo, Norway HakiElimu Working Papers. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Sumra. S., & Katabaro, J.K. (2014). Declining quality of education Suggestions for arresting and reversing the trend. The Economic and Social Research Foundation Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Economist (2015). http://www.economist.com/news/international/21645759 boys are being outclassed girls bot h school and university and gap?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/theweakersex Accessed June 23, 2017. Thomas, M. A., & Rugambwa, A. (2011). Equity, power, and capabilities: Constructions of gender in a Tanzanian secondary school. Feminist Formations 23 (3):153 175. UNESCO. (2012). UNESCO Global Partnership Girls and Women's education. UNESCO, Paris. UNICEF. (1999). Barriers to Girls Education. Strategies and Intervention. UNICEF, New York UNICEF. (2010). Progress for children: achieving the MDGs with equity (No. 9). UNICEF, New York. Unterhalter, E., & Heslop, J. (2011). Transforming education for girls in Nigeria and Tanzania (TEGINT): A cross country analysis of baseline research. Institute of Education, University of London, London.

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73 Uromi, S. M. (2014). Schoolgirl pregnancies as a most critical and rapidly growing challenge in Tanzania. International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research 10(1):191 194. Winter, A. G. (2006). Assessment of wheelchair technology in T anzania. International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering 1 (2):60 77. Yin, R. K. (2011). Qualitative research from start to finish. Guilford Press, New York.

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74 Appendix 1: Interview Q uestions for S tudents. 1. Sex 2. Do you reside in the school (dormitory)? !!! (Yes/No). If the answer is no, go to question two, three, four, five and six. If yes, go to question seven. 3. Where do you live? a. What is the distance from your home to school? 4. Do you get meals at school? (Breakfast and lunch) (Yes/No). 5. If the answer is No, where do you get your breakfast and lunch during school hours? 6. What do you do after getting home after school hours? 7. What do you do when you get to your dormitory in the evening? 8. How satisfied are you with school learning environment? Please tick where appropriate. Resources Not present Present but not sufficient Present and sufficient Female teachers Male teachers Boys latrines Girls latrines Boys hostels Girls hostels Classes Books Library 9. What causes girls to have low attendance and poor performance in your School? 10. Suggestions to improve girl's attendance and academic performance. 11. Who can do it?

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75 Appendix 2: Interview Questions for T eachers 1. Sex 2. For how long have you been teaching in secondary level? 3. For how long have you been working in this school? 4. Is there any difference in attendance between boys and girls at your school? 5. Is there any difference in performance between girls and boys at your school? 6. Please fill the follo wing tables. School attendance Academic year Enrolment of form four students (at the beginning of the year) Percent No of students who dropped out (at the end of the year) Percent 2013 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total 2015 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total 2016 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total

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76 School performance. Academic year No of students who sat for Form Four national examination Percent (%) No of students who passed the exam Percent (%) 2013 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total 2015 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total 2016 Boys Boys Girls Girls Total Total 7. Causes for girls to have low school attendance and poor performance. 8. What can be done to improve school attendance and Form Four examination performance? 9. Who should be responsible?

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77 Appendix 3: Interview Q uestions for P arents. 1. Sex 2. Age 3. Marital status 4. Highest level of education 5. Do you have child/children enrolled in secondary school____ YES/NO If your answer is YES go to question 6, if NO go to question 7 6. What sex is your child/children enrolled in secondary school? 7. Basing in your surrounding community, do you think the number of boys and girls graduating in secondary school is equal? 8. What sex has high level of graduating in secondary level? 9. Causes for girls to have low school attendance and poor performance. 10. What can be done to improve school attendance and Form four examina tion performance? 11. Who should be responsible ?

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78 Appendix 4: Focus G roup D iscussion Q uestions for S tudents, T eachers and P arents. 1. What are the factors contributing to poor attendance and performance among girls compared to boys? 2. What can be done to improve the school attendance and performance of girls on Form Four national examinations? 3. Who should be responsible?


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