Girls‟ enrollment and retention in science subjects at secondary school level from form three to form four: a case of a coeducational community secondary school in Kinondoni district-Dar es salaam

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Mussa Mohamed

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The major concern of this study was that, despite Tanzania government being determined to improve access, equity and provision of quality education by introducing various programmes, policies and reforms but still the number of girls in science subjects is inadequate in community secondary schools. The major purpose of this study was to investigate on the factors which interferes enrolment and retention of girls in science at secondary school level in Kinondoni district-Dar es Salaam. The objectives of the study were; to establish girls‟ enrolment and retention rate in science classes in a coeducational community secondary school, determine socio-economic, socio-cultural, school based as well as individual student‟s characteristic factors which contribute to insufficient enrolment and retention of girls in science subjects. In addition the study sought to establish possible measures that could help to improve girls‟ enrolment and retention rate of girls in science classes at secondary school level especially in community secondary schools in Kinondoni district-Dar es Salaam. The study was guided by Locke‟s classical liberal theory of opportunity and social Darwinism theory proposed by Charles Darwin. Also a conceptual framework was adapted from a research owned by (Macharia, 2012) to suit in the context of this study and for systematic presentation of the findings. The data was systematically analyzed through constant comparative qualitative analysis technique to develop themes and sub-themes in relation to the research questions. The study found that enrolment and retention rate of girls was low compared to that of boys as well as that of girls who are enrolled in other streams. Drop of science subjects was profound to girls than boys. The most prominent causes of low girls enrolment and retention in science classes established were; poor performance, dropout and absenteeism, transport problem, negative attitude towards science, teenage pregnancy and early marriages, low income level of the family, irresponsible parents, nature and size of the of the family and poor learning environment. These factors were further categorized in broad body of themes such as socio-economic, socio-cultural, school based and student‟s characteristic based factors.

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