Uporoto Highlands Irish Potato Farmers Children’s Access to Primary Education


Master's Thesis, 2013
144 Pages, Grade: 12.5
G. Nzowa (Author)

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEGMENT

ABSTRACT

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF MAP

LIST OF APPENDICES

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

CHAPTER ONE
1.0 THE DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background to the Problem
1.3 The Statement of the Problem
1.4 General Research Objective
1.4.1 Specific Objectives
1.5 The Significance of the Study
1.6 Research Questions
1.7 Research Tasks
1.8 Conceptual Framework
1.9 Definition of Key Terms
1.10 The Limitations of the Study
1.11 Delimitations To The Study
1.12 The Organization of the Research Report

CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Community Perception of Children’s Access to Primary Education
2.3 Financing of Primary Education in Tanzania
2.4 Education System in Tanzania
2.5 Children’s use of Primary Schools
2.6 Measures for Improving Access to Primary Education

CHAPTER THREE
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Design
3.3 The Study Area
3.4 Study Population
3.5 Sampling Techniques
3.6 Sampling Procedure
3.7 Data Collection Techniques
3.8 Data Collection Procedure
3.9 Data Analysis
3.10 Data Presentation
3.11 The Trustworthiness of the Study

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Background Information about the Sample
4.3 Uporoto Highlanders Community Perception of Irish Potato Farmers’ Children’s Access to Primary Education
4.4 The Financing of Education in Uporoto Highlands
4.5 The Education System in Uporoto Highlands
4.6 Irish Potato Farmers’ Children’s use of Primary Schools in Uporoto Highlands
4.7 Measuers to Increase Irish Potato Farmers’ Children’s Access to Primary Education in Uporoto Highlands
4.8 Discussion Findings

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Recommendations

REFERENCES

APPENDICES

DEDICATION

I dedicate this work to my beloved parents. Their prayers and their closeness to me as I pursued this course enabled me to continue to the end.

ACKNOWLEGMENT

Due to numerous ways in which many people and institutions have supported me in conducting this research to the completion, it pleases me with great pleasure to acknowledge their valuable contributions. Initially I would like to thank GOD for giving me good health and quick recovery whenever I felt sick. Secondly, I thank my beloved parents Mr. and Mrs. Taimu Nzowa for their parental and moral support as I struggled to complete this work.

I also wish to express my profound gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Edward T.T. Bagandanshwa, for allowing me to stand on his academic ladder. This enabled me to clearly view important issues in my academic path and how they could be handled. I thank him for his valuable readiness to help, his patience and interest he did put in this work tirelessly. His wide research experience helped me from the initial stage of proposal development to the production of this work. I am truly grateful and GOD bless him endlessly in especial way.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to, Mr. Nyakalo and Mr. Simwaba for the assistance they accorded to me during data collection enabled me to achieve the set goal. I also extend profound thanks to all district educational officers, ward educational officers, primary school teachers, Irish potato farmers and the whole community in Uporoto Highlands for their cooperation throughout my study. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

ABSTRACT

This study was conducted in Uporoto Highlands part of Mbeya district, specifically in Tembela, Ulenje and Ijombe wards. The study examined Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. It sought to determine the Uporoto Highlanders community perception of Irish potato farmers children’s access to primary education, the financing of education in the area, the educational system in the area, the children’s use of primary education and developing strategies of improving Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers children’s access to primary education. The study was qualitative. It employed the questionnaire and the interviewing methods of data collection.

The findings from this study revealed that; there were specific community perceptions regarding Irish potato farmer’s access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands. Irish potato farmers believed that there were adequate primary schools in the area and they preferred sending their children to school. They were satisfied with the number of primary schools in the area. Irish potato farmers were prioritizing when it came to money spending and that the resources in primary schools in Uporoto Highlands were inadequate and these included teachers, teacher’s houses, classes, laboratories, libraries and playgrounds. The findings further showed that there were limited community efforts to solve problems of resources in primary schools in the area. The limited efforts were due to limited involvement of the community and the perception of the community that the government was responsible for solving all the problems in primary schools in their area. The study also showed that the education system existed in Uporoto Highlands was the one in common with other area of the country – that is the State education system. It further revealed that, primary schools in Uporoto Highlands increased Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education and addressed the needs of Irish potato farmer’s children. Findings in this study also revealed that, Irish potato farmers’ children properly used the primary schools in the area. School attendance was to a high extent good. Parents used various methods to motivate their children to attend school. They monitored their children’s primary education by asking information from teachers, their friends and inspecting their children’s exercise books. Lastly, it was revealed that there was a need for improving Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. Various strategies were suggested by participants to improve Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands.

From the basis of this study, the conclusions were made that; there were mixed Uporoto Highlanders community perception of Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. On the one hand, Irish potato farmers were positive to their children accessing primary education and they were sending them to school. Regardless of this positive perception, in some situations they were stopping their children from going to school so that they participate in family related activities especially Irish potato production. There were limited joint community efforts to finance primary education in the area. The dominant education system in Uporoto Highlands was a common one basically a State education system. Irish potato farmers children in Uporoto Highlands were properly using primary schools and there was a need of improving access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands. Primary education in Uporoto Highlands faced the number of hindrances which acted as barriers in accessing primary education. Uporoto Highlands were still at the advanced stage of access. There was a conflict of interest between the requirements of Irish potato farmers’ children to attend school and the need of families and parents preparing these children for adulthood through training them in traditionally accepted productive work and there were to be other factors such as social factors to push Irish potato farmers children’s access to primary education high on the families priority list.

Recommendations were made that; Irish Potato farmers should be given more education on the importance of primary education for their children. Awareness raising campaigns on the financing of education should be carried out in Uporoto Highlands so as to make Irish potato farmers aware of the importance of collaborating with the government in the financing of primary education for their children. Communities in Uporoto Highlands, interested individuals and parties should be helped to establish private primary schools in Uporoto Highlands to complement government schools so as to increase Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education, to sustain Irish potato farmers’ children’s proper use of primary schools in Uporoto Highlands, the collaboration between the families, parents, schools and the government should be strengthened, the government, local communities and the schools should deliberately increase working together toward removing barriers to Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. Efforts to solve the problem of acute shortage of resources and facilities should be increased as a way of increasing and ensuring access to primary education. Efforts to attain full access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands should be redoubled, the government, parents and education stakeholders should reconcile the conflict of interest between the requirement of children to attend school daily and the need of families and parents to fulfill their traditional role of developing their children into responsible adults. Finally, Irish potato farmers in Uporoto Highlands should be educated on the importance of putting the financing of the primary education of their children high on their priority lists so as ensure their children’s access to primary education.

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Research participant’s composition by age range

Table 2: Research participant’s composition by gender

Table 3: Research participant’s level of education

Table 4: Research participants marital Status

Table 5: Research participants with primary school age children

Table 6: Participants' judgment on the adequacy of primary schools in Uporoto Highlands

Table 7: Participants' judgment on Irish potato farmer’s preference towards sending their children to school

Table 8: The value Irish potato farmers in Uporoto Highlands attached to the primary education of their children

Table 9: Participants judgment on Irish potato farmers’ satisfaction with the number of primary schools available

Table 10: The participants' judgment on the spending prioritization of Irish Potato farmers in Uporoto Highlands

Table 11: The spending priorities in their order of preference among Irish potato farmers in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 12: Participants' judgment on the adequacy of resources in primary schools in Uporoto Highlands

Table 13: Resources perceived inadequate in primary schools in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 14: Participants’ judgment on community’s efforts to solve the problem of resources for primary schools in Uporoto Highlands

Table 15: Hindrances to the community financing of primary schools in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 16: Participants' views on the readiness of Irish potato farmers in Uporoto Highlands to send their children to private primary schools

Table 17: Participants views on the type of educational system in Uporoto Highlands

Table 18: Participants’ judgment on primary schools increase of access to education among Irish potato farmers’ children in Uporoto Highlands

Table 19: The extent to which primary education on offer addressed the needs of Irish Potato farmer’s children in Uporoto Highlands

Table 20: The participant’s judgment on Irish potato farmers’ children’s attendance to primary schools

Table 21: Motivation behind the I.P.Fs’ children’s attendance to primary schools in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 22: The affordability of primary education to Irish potato farmer’s children in Uporoto Highlands

Table 23: Participants judgment on Irish potato farmers monitoring of the primary education of their children

Table 24: Irish potato farmers' methods of monitoring the primary education of their children in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 25: Participants' views on I.P.Fs’ children’s type of access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands

Table 26: Factors affecting Irish potato farmers’ children’s attendance to primary schools in Uporoto Highlands as indicated by participants

Table 27: Participants views on the need for improving Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education

Table 28: Measures that can be used in increasing Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education as indicated by participants

Table 29: School enrollments in the study area

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: The beyond access theory

LIST OF MAP

Map 1: The Map showing the study area

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix I: Questionnaire Schedules

Appendix II: Dodoso La Utafiti

Appendix III: Interview Questions

Appendix IV: Maswali ya Mahojiano kwa Washiriki wa Utafiti

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 THE DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM

1.1 Introduction

This chapter defines the research problem. It presents the background to the problem, the statement of the problem, research objectives, the significance of the study, research questions, research tasks, the conceptual framework, the definition of key terms, limitations, delimitations of the study and organization of the research report.

1.2 Background to the Problem

Irish potato is one of Mankind’s most valuable food cum- cash crops in the world with annual production capacity of 347million metric tons, produced in an estimated area of 18.9 million hectares. It ranks fourth in the world as a food cum-cash crop after maize, rice and wheat. Among root crops, Irish potatoes rank first in terms of quantity produced and consumed followed by cassava, sweet potato and yams. It provides roughly half of the world’s annual output of all roots and tubers, making it the largest non-cereal food cum-cash crop worldwide (FAOSTAT, 2004).

Next to cereals, Irish potato is the most abundantly produced crop for food security and cash in the Uporoto Highlands. It has been established that, Irish potatoes were superior in production per hectare to almost every crop in the area (Monares, 1984). Moreover, the pressure of commercialization, low cost of production and the readily available market compelled smallholders in Uporoto Highlands to change their crop production systems which included changes in crop composition in favor of Irish potato farming system. This was further aggravated by Irish potato properties of growing too fast compared to cereals like maize. The need for fast cash obligated farmers to intensify the use of farmlands through increased cropping intensity and frequencies (Ponte, 1998; 2000). There were changes in the relative importance of crops in the Uporoto Highlands where by pyrethrum and green peas that earlier dominated the agricultural landscape were being replaced by Irish potatoes and wheat cultivation. Moreover, pyrethrum and green Peas cultivation was based on the use of ridges and terraces respectively. With their decline in importance, ridges and terraces were replaced by flat cultivation for Irish potatoes and wheat (Sokoni, 2001; Abera, 2009).

We are so sure that there have been agricultural changes in Uporoto Highlands; however, we are not sure of whether or not these changes have gone hand in hand with changes in social services like education by facilitating increased access to vulnerable groups like children. The Irish potato farming system in Uporoto Highlands experienced changes in both crop composition and agricultural production techniques. This led to change in livelihoods of the people. The latter involved changes in the use of soil fertility enhanced techniques and soil erosion prevention techniques. The former involved changes from pyrethrum cultivation to Irish potato production. These changes also involved changes from subsistence farming system which was purely monoculture to mixed farming system which included commercialization of agricultural products. Irish potatoes gained their importance from subsistence to major cash earning crop among the rural households in Uporoto Highlands and rapidly became a valuable source of income as well as the primary requisite of food security for many families. Studies to examine and analyze these changes in Irish potato farming system in relation to the people’s livelihood are lacking. This is because there are no any studies to examine whether or not the changes in the Irish potato farming system have any favorable contribution to the farmers children’s access to primary education.

1.3 The Statement of the Problem

Our knowledge and our understanding of the way Irish potato farming was contributing to increased access of Irish potato farmers children to primary education is limited. It is a common assumption that improved economic situation usually lead to better lives and increased access to social services education inclusive. This study therefore, aimed at exploring the Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education with the view of determining whether or not the improved economic situation in the highlands was necessarily contributing to the increase of children’s access to primary education.

1.4 General Research Objective

The general objective of this study was to examine Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

1.4.1 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives for this study were:

(a) To determine the Uporoto highlanders’ community perception of Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.
(b) To determine the financing of primary education in Uporoto highlands
(c) To determine the education system in Uporoto highlands
(d) To determine the Uporoto highlands farmers’ children’s use of primary schools.
(e) To propose strategies of improving Uporoto highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

1.5 The Significance of the Study

The significance of this study includes:

(a) They increase our knowledge and understanding of the rural communities’ children’s access to primary education.
(b) They make policy makers, educational managers and administrators aware of the importance of linking agricultural policies with access to social services like education so as to increase rural communities’ access to such services.
(c) They increase our knowledge in access, especially access to primary education.
(d) They make the community, individuals and interested parties aware of importance of increasing children’s access, especially rural children’s access, of social services like primary education.
(e) They make policy makers, educational managers and the public aware of the importance of resolving the issue of rural communities’ access to education, especially primary education.

1.6 Research Questions

The guiding research questions for this study were:

(a) What is the Uporoto highlanders’ community perception of children’s access to primary education?
(b) How is primary education in Uporoto highlands financed?
(c) What is the education system in Uporoto highlands?
(d) How do the Uporoto highlands Irish potato farmers’ children make use of primary schools?
(e) What can be the strategies in improving Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education in Uporoto Highlands?

1.7 Research Tasks

This study had the following research tasks:

(a) Determining the Uporoto highlanders’ community perception of children’s access to primary education.
(b) Determining the financing of education in Uporoto Highlands.
(c) Determining the education system in Uporoto highlands.
(d) Determining Uporoto highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s use of primary schools.
(e) Proposing strategies for improving Uporoto highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

1.8 Conceptual Framework

This conceptual framework helps in understanding the Uporoto Highlands Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. Access as theory is based on the resources and its effect. There are different scholars who proposed various access theories among them is Anderson (1977) who proposed the open access theory and Kirk (2008) who proposed beyond access theory. The open access theory states that; Resources are delplatable and fugitive characterized by rivalry in exploitation. According to this theory, resources are subjected to be used by any person who has capability and desire to inter into their harvesting or extracting. However, the harvesting and extracting of resources differ from one individual to the other. According to Anderson (1977) the open access theory pre supposes three things. It pre supposes that access to resources is open to everyone. No one is, or should be, accorded more chance over another. At the same time, the process is free of barriers. This means that, people come and make use of resources without deliberate hindrances. Also, by access to resources being open everyone willing and wanting to can come in to harvest and extract them. On the other hand, the open access theory appears to emphasize on the acquisition and use of resources without considering the services necessary in the process of doing so.

The beyond access theory as presented by Kirk (2008) is built on five principles. The first principle is that all individuals bare some competences and high expectations and as a result of this they usually reach full potential. Second, human potentials usually go beyond functional skills used to fit individuals in the environment. Unlike functional skills, human potentials need space, time and opportunities to make the individual more functional and more self. Third, problems encountered in the environments we live retard the development and realization of our human potentials. However, for every problem there is an effective intervention leading to a popular problem solving. Fourth, by nature all individuals and all environments are flexible and adaptable to situations and needs. Lastly, with the partnership between central and support players on the one hand, and consumers and recipients of change on the other, access crosses its borders and becomes both practice and services. This study adopted the beyond access theory as a guiding theory.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: The Beyond Access Theory

1.9 Definition of Key Terms

This study had some key terms which it was necessary to define.

(a) Access

The term access can be referred to as the opportunity or right to use something. Access is the situations where by all the individuals are free to use the available resources or services. Access therefore, means; there should be no barriers in using resources or services available. (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2007; Kirk, 2008; Bagandanshwa, 2010). In this study, the simulative definition of access went beyond the right to entre and make use of resources and services to include the practical use of that right. For the purpose of this study, accesses meant individuals entering into the system, environment or institution and using the available resources and/or, services without experiencing any restrictions or barriers. When linked to the problem under study, the term access meant the situation where all Irish potato farmers’ children who were legible for primary education got it without any difficulties.

(b) Children

Biologically a child (plural: children) is a young human who is not yet an adult. The United Nations Convention on Human Rights of the Child defined children as human beings below age of 18 years (UN, 1989; Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2007).In this study, children referred to sons and daughters of Irish potato farmers who were of school age, under 18 and legible for primary education in Uporoto Highlands.

(c) Primary Education

Primary education is education for children between the ages of 5 – 12, previously was known as elementary education. Primary education is the foundation in the education system. It is the kind of education necessary for every child because it provides elementary or basic skills necessary to function throughout his or her academic carrier and within the community. (McRace, 1999; Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2007). In this study, primary education referred to the compulsory education for all children of 7 years old, and covers standard one to standard seven.

1.10 The Limitations of the Study

While undertaking this research, the researcher was confronted with the following problems;

(a) Funding

Funding is never adequate for any research undertaking. Similarly, in this work the researcher suffered from the financial limitations. Meeting expenses of things such as transport, stationery and general logistics in data collection and report production, proved to be a donting task to the researcher who was self sponsored and still have family obligations to fulfill.

(b) Limited cooperation

Some members of the population were a serious obstacle to the study. Some were reluctant to accept the questionnaire schedules, others were difficult when it came to keeping appointments for interviews and some said “no” when it came to participating in the study.

(c) The problem of getting the research participants

The researcher faced a problem of getting the research participants; most of Irish potato farmers were busy in their farms from morning to evening. In the evening they were busy on other personal issues like community responsibilities, social responsibilities and family issues just to mention some. The researchers therefore was chasing them around and convincing them to slot the study needs into their evening activities. Sometimes the consensus was not reached.

(d) Transport

Transport was another problem the researcher faced. Some villages were not easily accessible because their muddy roads proved to be difficult to use during rainy season when the research was being conducted.

1.11 Delimitations To The Study

This study had various delimitations. The first delimitation was the choice of the problem itself. There were other related problems that could have been chosen but were rejected by the researcher. Well stipulated research objectives and the research questions also delimited the study. The area of study was appropriate for the intended information and the population chosen by the researcher in the study area was experienced and had enough information which made the study successful. This study was also delimited by the use of qualitative research design which enabled the researcher to capture the experiences of participants in their natural settings. Finally, the instruments used in collecting data provided relevant data which fulfilled the research objectives and provided answers the to research questions.

1.12 The Organization of the Research Report

This research report is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is about the definition of the problem. Chapter two deals with literature review. Chapter three presents the methodology for the study. Chapter four is about presentation of findings and discussion. Chapter five presents conclusions and recommendations. The study report starts with preliminaries which include; Declaration, certification, copyright, dedication, acknowledgement, list of acronyms, abstract, and the content. Finally, it ends up with a comprehensive list of references and appendices.

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

This part involves identifying and critically reading various works related to the problem under investigation in this study.

2.2 Community Perception of Children’s Access to Primary Education

Every society ought to educate and care for her own children so as make them fit for the society (Onuka and Arowojolo, 2008). Parents should educate their children in whatever form and whatever level if the resources of the nation and those of such parents allow it. Parents normally wish their children to go to school and get education even more than theirs. The parental duty to send their children to school therefore can only become affirmative and an issue, only if there is the presumption of full free and full-facilitated education. In Tanzania, after independence the community perceived primary education as a tool to promote societal innovation and transfer specific skills and attitudes in order to create a defined society (Currey, 1994). The community had a belief that; the major aim of giving education to their children is to provide them with a concrete and reliable basis for a self-reliant life. The education that can be guaranteed to all in Tanzania is primary education. Therefore, the community has a belief that primary education can prepare well their children and it is accessible (Chonjo, 1994; Darko, 2007).

Parents have a very positive attitude when they send their children to primary schools; they believe that the experience they will gain will make a desirable difference in their lives. Nevertheless, more is also expected that the school will endow children with the means to lead fuller, more satisfying lives and contribute more to society’s welfare. Parents value education, they see it as an avenue for social advancement, and they want their children to learn, read and write. (Carron and Chau, 1992; ILO, 2010)

2.3 Financing of Primary Education in Tanzania

The state is one of the major financer of education in Tanzania. The second is fees of different types paid by students. Parents demand for their children education which is largely seen as the route to modernity and assured income. They are often expected to contribute toward educational costs, the contribution of families comes in the form of fees .In pre – independence, Tanzania, the sources of education finance were the central government, local government, religious organization and parents who paid fees for their children. After independence, the government of Tanzania changed primary educational policies such as Education for Self-Reliance (ESR) following the Arusha declaration in 1967.This was expected to increase primary schooling so as to achieve Universal Primary Education (UPE) where the abolition of primary school fees in 1973 expected to support this expansion. However, if the parents have no ability to pay other school costs will not be able to send their children to primary schools (Ayodo, 1991; Galabawa, 2001; Babyegeya, 2002; Tilak, 2003).

In many rural areas of developing countries, agricultural production plays an important role in the lives of rural household. They need cash from time to time for meeting their family and farm needs, such as clothing, medical services, education, transport, and other consumer goods. Household obtain cash to sustain their needs through sales of farm produce at the time of harvest. Cash is mainly obtained through sales of cash crops and in some cases, the surplus from food crops is sold to supplement the income from cash crop sales where among others such cash is used to finance primary education of their children (Babington, 1999).

To make clear on financing of primary education, the following were various examples from different areas: A study done by Mafimisebi on determinants and uses of farm income from the cassava production in Ondo state, Nigeria shows that; majority farmers applied the income generated to satisfy various needs. Three crucial needs include; family food (40.0%), children’s school requirement (28.2%), and maintenance of household items (7.7%) of income generated (Mafimisebi, 2005).

In addition, the study conducted by Olaleye, Umar and Ndamtsa, examined the contribution to household expenditure based on income generated from sales of tomatoes by farmers. The study revealed that contribution to food 35%, housing 36%, clothing and health care were 37% respectively, whereas children’s education accounted for 47%. In most cases, parents would prefer to send their children to school but two-thirds of the world’s poor people live in rural areas and many rural parents are too poor to pay school fees. Even if schooling is free, costs such as books and other school materials, clothes, shoes and transport can be a very economic burden (Olaleye, Umar and Ndamtsa, 2009; ILO, 2010).

2.4 Education System in Tanzania

In Tanzania, the Christian missionaries introduced formal education in the last part of the 19th Century; Christian agency remained the dominant provider of education in Tanzania until 1970 where the majority of schools were nationalized. The structure of Education and training system in Tanzania constitutes 2 years of pre- primary education, 7 years of primary Education, primary school covers standard 1 to 7 and legal age of entry is 7 years. Usually standard one and two have classroom teachers while others have subject matter teachers. Thus, from standard three onwards, pupils are allocated a classroom and the teachers move from classroom to classroom for the different lessons. Primary education in Tanzania is in Kiswahili and English is taught as a foreign language and is a universal basic education as stressed by World Conference on Education For All (WCEFA) (Babyegeya, 2002; Wedgwood, 2005; URT, 2009).

2.5 Children’s use of Primary Schools

Primary education is the largest and most central component of basic education. Primary education is universal and compulsory for all children from the age of 7 years until they complete this cycle of education. Primary education is intended to equip children with permanent literacy and numeracy basic life skills and values to enable them function productively on the social economic setting of Tanzania and pursue further education and training. It is on record that, Tanzania during the period of 1978-1985 nearly attained universal primary education in quantitative terms. For example between 1974-1978,the number of children enrolled in standard one increased from 248,000 to 878,321 while overall number rose from 1,228,886 in 1974 to 3,553,144 in 1983 and to 4,112,167 in 1999 (URT, 2004). Okech and Rolleston (2007) provided some factors that affect the attendance among primary school children in Tanzania such as:

(a) Long distance to school especially in underdeveloped remote areas
(b) Limited private sector education services provision
(c) Parents low level of education attained
(d) Population dynamics
(e) Political factors including political instabilities and lack of political commitment in education.

In Tanzania access and attendance to primary education is affected due to three main reasons; economic, social-cultural and psychosocial.

(a) Limited family financial resources due to low level of income. This means that, parents are too poor to meet school demands such as school fees, contributions, uniforms, books and exercise books. In this situation, a child may not be enrolled and may dropout. Many of those that dropout engage in activities to support family incomes. Poverty is one of the main reasons for poor parents keeping away their children from school.

The cost of a child’s education is not reduced to zero for poor households when there is free schooling. Parents are discouraged to send their children to primary school when direct costs of books, uniforms, writing materials, transportation to school, need to be covered by families. Immediate and direct costs of schooling also lower the likelihood of the child ever-entering primary school. Like other developing countries, a large number of the population in Tanzania is in rural areas and engage in farming such as Irish potatoes among the Uporoto Highlanders (URT, 2004).

(a) Limited awareness on the importance of primary education hence some parents neglect to enroll their children.
(b) The physical state of the school may be unattractive, the absence of interesting cultural activities, indiscriminate use of corporal punishment and other punishment like manual work, physical military like punishment, long walking distance to school and lack of feeding programme; all these demotivate children to be enrolled and attend primary school.

Parents may prefer that their children work to supplement household income hence affect to a high extent children’s access to primary education. Location contributes to children’s access to primary education. In certain area of the word such as some parts of Uporoto Highlands, it is more difficult for children to get to school. In high altitude areas severe weather condition make attendance erratic hence poor access to primary education (Hawes, 1979; Hillman and Jenkner, 2002; UN, 2004). Parents care about their children hence they are also involved in their children’s education. The following are some areas parents involve in their children’s education:

(a) Basic parenting or the basic obligation of families is where parents make a positive home environment that motivates a child to attend schools.
(b) Basic obligation of school. These include families to communicate with school about programmes and children’s progress through notice, phone cells, visit, report cards and conferences.
(c) Involvement at school, parents normally assist teachers, children and other school personnel morally or materially.
(d) Involvement in learning activities at home. Teachers request parents has a duty to monitor and assist their children at home. Involvement in decision-making, governance and advocacy. Parents serve in participatory roles and become active advocacy group. Schools help parents become leaders through involving them in meaningful decision-making and providing information to advocacy groups. These decisions can be the progress at school. Through this, parents are involved in solving various school programmes through their moral and material support (Bauer, 2003).

2.6 Measures for Improving Access to Primary Education

Access is the right and the commitment to inter into the social system and make full use of the available opportunities in education and employment. There are four types of access namely; zero access, cosmetic access, limited access and full access. Access to education refers to opportunities to the target population to participate in that education. Therefore, access to primary education is the situation where by all children who are eligible for this kind of education gets it without difficulties. Access to primary education can be attained through building more schools and ensuring availability of resources for the provision of equal and quality education. Wanjiku (2005) argued, the improvement of access to primary school can be attained when there is an involvement of the community in such education. The different educational sub-sector should not be treated separately. Attempts to expand access to primary schooling should take into account the quality and quantity of secondary education available because at primary level, access is relatively equitable but the quality of available education is highly inequitable (Nyerere, 1968; Omary, 1998; Phillips, 2006; Allan, 2009; Bagandanshwa, 2010).

From independence, Tanzania has seen an ambitious to improve access to primary education, in recent years, especially from 2001; Tanzania has taken major strides to revamp its primary education sector. The primary Education Development Plan (PEDP, 2002 -2006) implemented starting in 2004 have led to significant improvements in provision of basic education in the country. Tanzanian Education Training Policy (TETP, 1995) provides for equal access for all children to basic education and Child Development Policy (CDP, 1996) emphasized the need for coordination and collaboration between ministries to ensure that all school age children are enrolled and the alternative programmes are setup for elder children (Bogonko, 1992; Sumra, 2003; Allan, 2009).

Access to primary education in Tanzania for legal age of enrollment (7 years) has been fluctuating in recent years. However, efforts have been made to expand access to education ever since 1960’s after independence. The Net Enrollment Rate (NER) in Tanzania has improved considerably over the past six years, going from 58.6% in 2000 to 96.1% in 2006.Yet still there are those with no access, those who are excluded after initial entry and those at the risk of dropouts. In order to ensure access in primary education, facilities occupy a central position. These consist of classrooms, teacher’s offices, furniture, laboratories, libraries and teacher’s houses. These facilities do not only provide shelter and working space for students and teachers but in addition, they act as incentives for teachers and students to stay in school, thus reducing absenteeism and dropouts (Saranson, 1971; URT, 2004; Oketch and Rolleston, 2007).

CHAPTER THREE

3.0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

This chapter provides the description of the research methodology which included; research design, description of the study area, population, sampling techniques, sampling procedure, data collection techniques, data collection procedures as well as analysis and procedures for presentation of study findings.

3.2 Research Design

Research design is the plan showing the approach and strategy of investigation aimed at obtaining relevant data that fulfills the research objectives and provision of answers to research questions. It is the framework within which the study is conceptualized in terms of theory, sampling, data collection techniques and the administration of data collection tools (Kothari, 1990). This study adopted the qualitative research design. The Qualitative research design is a research design which is flexible and meant to capture experiences of participants in their natural settings (Guba and Lincoln, 1985).

The Qualitative research design like any other research design has its own characteristics:

(a) It is flexible to enable the researcher to consider the surprising of the field.
(b) It is the research design which requires the researcher to collect information and present participant’s own experience and not researchers perceptions, ideas, understanding and value judgments.
(c) It is holistic, that it seeks to answer questions like; when, who, why, what and by who.
(d) This design emphasizes the in depth study of phenomenon. Thus, it requires researchers to go down into mental modules of their participants (Patton, 2002).

The qualitative research design was adopted due to its characteristics because the study itself was about the population’s experience on Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

3.3 The Study Area

The study was conducted in Uporoto Highlands, Southern Highlands of Tanzania, Mbeya region. The Uporoto Highlands extend into three districts namely; Mbeya, Rungwe in Mbeya region, and Makete in Njombe region. This study took place in the part of Uporoto Highlands lying in Mbeya district in Ulenje, Tembela and Ijombe wards.

The area was selected due to the following reasons; firstly, it had the highest Irish potato production as compared to other regions in Tanzania and Southern Highlands in particular. Secondly, The Uporoto Highlands of Mbeya district had experienced more relative changes in crop composition from pyrethrum production to Irish potato production if compared to the Uporoto highlands part of Rungwe and Makete . Thirdly, the people of Uporoto Highlands of Mbeya district solely depended on cultivation of Irish potatoes if compared to their counterparts in Rungwe and Makete districts who were also involved in the production of other crops like coffee and pyrethrum. Fourthly, the Uporoto Highlands part of Mbeya district had experienced more changes in the agricultural system from traditional to commercial system than Makete and Rungwe district. Therefore, Uporoto Highlands of Mbeya district was purposively selected for the study because it was assumed to be an information reach –case about Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

Map 1: The Map Showing The Study Area

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.4 Study Population

The population chosen for this study included; the Irish potato farmers, primary school teachers and educational managers. The population was purposively selected because it was assumed to have the required experience and information about the Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education. This population was expected to give information about Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

3.5 Sampling Techniques

Two sampling techniques were employed in the study namely; simple random and purposive sampling techniques. The simple random sampling technique gives each member of the population an equal chance of being included in the study. The purposive sampling technique includes in the study potential and information-rich cases. It allows the researcher to purposively and intentionally handpick both sampling units and individuals because of their information rich cases while excluding from the study information-poor ones (Cohen and Manion, 1994). In this study, use of the simple random sampling technique accorded every information rich case member of the population an equal chance of being included in the study. At the same time, the purposive sampling technique enabled the researcher to include in the study only those members of the population who were assumed information rich cases.

3.6 Sampling Procedure

For any person to be included in the study had to have lived or served for not less than three years in the study area. The three years period was assumed enough to accumulate information, knowledge and experience about the Irish potato farmers’ children’s access to primary education.

Two approaches were used in administering the simple random sampling technique. Firstly, there were rotary cards prepared. There were the “yes” and the “no” cards put in a tin and shook enough to ensure that they were well mixed. The participants who picked the “yes” cards were included in the study. Those who picked the “no” cards were excluded. Secondly, participants were also allowed to volunteer for the study. This was after selection through rotary cards and it was only for those who picked the “no” cards. When and where volunteers were more than two, selection using the rotary cards was re applied. Experience showed that, members of the population were volunteering, and the researcher repeatedly reapplied the rotary cards sampling approach. However, at every sampling unit the request to the members of the population to volunteer was made only once. Purposive sampling was used in determining the sampling units and groups of participants in this study. On this basis, the study area and the population for the study were chosen.

3.7 Data Collection Techniques

Data collection techniques in this study included questionnaire and interviewing. The questionnaire technique when used in collecting data can cover a large area and a large population. Information generated can be verified and crosschecked against the information collected using other methods. It is easy to manage and participants usually give reliable information because they complete the questionnaires with utmost freedom from the pressure of the researcher (ibid).

In this study, the questionnaire technique enabled the researcher to reach all groups included in the study at the same time. The collection of data was made easy and cheap. While still in the field, the researcher was able to detect gapes in the information collected because he could check it before data collection was complete. Indeed the information collected using the questionnaire method gave the researcher an opportunity to clarify issues and bridge information gapes while still in the field.

Interviewing is a face-to-face interaction between the researcher and participants. It allows collecting bulk of information through social relationships and interactions. The researcher can make follow-up, probe and press participants for more and more clarified information (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). In this study, interviewing enabled the researcher to personally interview participants. The technique allowed the development of positive social interactions and positive social relationships between the researcher and the research participants. These in turn further facilitated data collection through enhanced cooperation.

3.8 Data Collection Procedure

Data collection instruments were pre tested before being used. The results from the pre test enabled the researcher to determine the validity and the reliability of the instruments. Where necessary, adjustments were made to increase the validity and reliability of the instruments. In collecting data for the study, two types of questionnaire were applied namely; supervised and semi supervised questionnaires. Under supervised questionnaire, participants completed questionnaire schedules under examination like situation. They were put in a room and completed the questionnaire schedules under the supervision of the researcher or his appointee. Under the semi-supervised questionnaire, participants agreed with the researcher on when to submit and the researcher kept pressure on them by first; remaining put in the field and second; by chasing and reminding them according to time agreed. A total of 140 questionnaire schedules were circulated in the population. Of these 120 (85.71%) were completed and returned. Only 20 (14.29%) were never returned. The high rate of return was possibly the result of adopting the supervised and the semi supervised questionnaires that require the researcher to keep tight follow up on research participants.

The questionnaires were translated from English to Kiswahili because that is the language participants were more comfortable with. The language used was simple and clear. The questionnaire questions were a combination of closed and open-ended questions. Close-ended questions were used in tapping the participant’s specific information. Open-ended questions were used for allowing freedom of expression and soliciting of added information.

Two types of interviews were used in the study; these were individual and focused interviews. The individual interviews were used for acclimatization and orientation as well as gathering introductory information from the field. In individual interviewing, the researcher gave the participants questions beforehand so that they prepare themselves. Focused interviewing was used for follow-up and clarifying information from the field. In this case, participants were not given questions beforehand but were given topics for discussion. During all interview session, the researcher jotted down the information given by the interviewees. To ensure the validly and reliability of the interviews the researchers sort approval of what had been jotted down by reading it allowed to the interviewee and asking interviewee to make comments. In some cases, the interviewees made corrections. In such circumstances, the researcher listened and effected the corrections they suggested. Sometime they agreed to what was written. The purpose of all this was to make the interview data the research participants’ own words and experiences.

3.9 Data Analysis

The thematic approach was used in analyzing data. Data were inductively sorted to get themes and sub themes. On this basis, they were categorized and coded. During analysis, quantitative data were calculated into percentages to determine the magnitude. Qualitative data were organized into narratives to be able to capture the experience of the population. Content analysis to determine the meaning of words, sentences and paragraphs was carried out to get the inner meanings of the qualitative data.

3.10 Data Presentation

Data presentation in this study also adopted the thematic approach. They were presented under specific subheading inductively sort from within the data. Similar and corresponding data were arranged together under their sub theme. The corresponding sub themes were arranged and presented under corresponding themes. Themes were organized and presented to answer the guiding questions set on chapter one. All quantitative data were presented by percentages. Qualitative data were presented as narratives.

3.11 The Trustworthiness of the Study

The process of making the study trustworthy is the process of setting controls in the study, so that desirable outcomes that can be seen worthy of serious consideration are produced (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). A quality qualitative study is the one with high credibility, transferability, and confirmability. Credibility is equated with internal validity, transferability with external validity, and confirmability with objectivity (Stake, 1978; Stainback and Stainback, 1988; Mertens and Mclaughlin, 1995). Credibility in qualitative studies refers to the levels of correspondence between the participant’s perception of the social constructs and the way the researcher present these perceptions (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Stainback and Stainback, 1988). In this study, the following measures were taken to enhance credibility.

(a) Prolonged and substantial engagement in the field. The researcher engaged in the field for a quite reasonable period. Since there is no clear rule stipulating the length of fieldwork in qualitative studies, the researcher remained in the field until themes and examples were repeating hence being sure of the information found.
(b) Persistent investigation was used to raise credibility in this study. Premature closure of an investigation was avoided because it leads premature conclusions. Thus, the researcher investigated issues persistently enough to identify salient features and their interconnections.
(c) Peer debriefing was also used. Throughout the study, the researcher developed and maintained a peer debriefed group with which to exchange ideas about the field findings. The peer-debriefed group in this study was composed of Irish potato farmer, primary school teachers and educational officers. The ideas of this group and the challenges it posed to the researcher, refined and strengthened the researcher’s perception of the revelations of the field.
(d) The researcher was progressively subjective. The growth and development of constructions was closely monitored and documented throughout the study. Whatever developments, were shared with the debriefed for an opinion of the neutral observer. This sharpened the understanding and the curiosity of the researcher, and thereby bettered the results.
(e) Member checks were used frequently during data collection. Member checks meant the researcher discussing the findings with the participants and other people not involved in the study. This was done after interviews whereby the researcher summarized what was said. The member checks enabled the researcher to refine the construction further.

Another criteria used in creating trustworthy in this study was transferability. Transferability is the degree of similarity between the study area and other areas on which the study results may be tempting to be replicated (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Guba and Lincoln, 1989).In this study, the researcher facilitated the readers’ process of judging the transferability of the study by providing a detailed account of every aspect of the field situation. Description of time, place, and context of the study was given. This put the study more into its context and made it more transparent to both the researcher and the reader.

The final aspect of trustworthy in this study was confirmability. This is a qualitative parallel of the objectivity. Confirmability is determined by the level to which the data and their interpretation are not a presentation of the researcher’s own imaginations and preconceived judgments. This means that the qualitative data are trustworthy when they are a true presentation of the views and opinions upheld by participants. (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Stainback and Stainback, 1988).

In this study, the researcher made sure that the data traced to the original sources by making the sample and the sampling procedures known and understood. In addition, the researcher made it possible for the process of synthesizing and analyzing data in this study to be confirmed. These were achieved by maintaining a balance with the participants. This balance was made more effective with the use of member checks and peer debriefed groups.

[...]

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Details

Title
Uporoto Highlands Irish Potato Farmers Children’s Access to Primary Education
Course
MASTERS OF EDUCATION IN EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION, PLANNING AND POLICY STUDIES
Grade
12.5
Author
Year
2013
Pages
144
Catalog Number
V489728
ISBN (eBook)
9783668974470
Language
English
Tags
uporoto, highlands, irish, potato, farmers, children’s, access, primary, education
Quote paper
G. Nzowa (Author), 2013, Uporoto Highlands Irish Potato Farmers Children’s Access to Primary Education, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/489728

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