Exploring students' experience of schooling: A case study of a rural community secondary in Arumeru district, Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The overall objective of this study was to explore students' schooling and learning experiences in a rural community secondary school established under the government's Secondary Education Development Program policy on increased access to secondary school education. The study employed qualitative approach with semi-structured focus group discussion interviews, questionnaires to profile students and document analysis. Twenty four students from form two, three and four were purposively selected based on gender and academic performance. Students from these forms were selected because they have a full year of schooling and are therefore immersed in community schooling culture and practices. The main focus of the study was to obtain students' views about factors that they considered affecting their schooling and learning experiences as told by students themselves. The findings of the study show that students perceived a rural community secondary school as being neglected by the government in terms of resource allocation Students associated poor performance of rural community secondary schools with a lack of monitoring and evaluation by schools inspections and therefore poor quality education. Students also perceived the learning environment as not conducive because of inadequate basic facilities for example, lack of doors and windows in some classrooms, the location of the school, and inadequate toilets for safety and sanitation. Additionally, students mentioned poor teaching syllabi coverage and language barriers which they said affected their psycho-social well-being. Although the study is not generalizable, these findings may have resonance with schools with similar learning contexts especially within Arumeru District where this study was conducted. Hence the findings and recommendations may provide a means for combating problems affecting students for the improvement of overall learning students in the district.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library