Exploring the role of head teacher in supporting early literacy development in lower primary: a case of Makole primary school in Southern Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Abdalla Mohamed

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Simon Karuku


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Primary school head teachers have many roles to play in supporting early literacy development to young learners of lower primary. This study sought to explore the role of head teacher in supporting early literacy in lower primary school in Southern Tanzania. Through qualitative case study, I deployed multiple methods, namely semi structured interview document analysis to collect data. Data were recorded in the field and later transcribed verbatim. Data analysis involved developing code and themes as guided by the research question and the purpose of my study. The study findings revealed different strategies deployed by the head teacher to support early literacy development. Such strategies were providing material resources to teachers and students, providing opportunity for professional development to teachers, motivating teachers, improving pupils’ attendance and preparing conducive learning environment. The study also has shown the challenges the head teacher faced in the process of supporting early literacy development. These challenges include inadequate fund, shortage of teachers, shortage of teaching and learning resources, unsupportive parent and political interference. To improve early literacy development, the study recommended that the head teachers should use more creative ways to harness resources for the development of early literacy and empower parents to take more active role in supporting the development of literacy.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library