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On the way to child rights focused schools -establishing a new inclusive and violence free secondary school in Tanzania


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The paper reports about the scientifically controlled implementation of a new inclusive and violence free secondary school in Tanzania which can enroll 250 students. The school mainly focuses on highly vulnerable students like pupils of rural areas, orphaned children and youths, children and youths from broken families and poor households and will also enroll 20% of children with handicaps. A special focus is led on schooling of children with albinism who have often been exposed to discrimination and even mutilation or murder. The concept of the school is based on a study (n=597 students)by Stein, Steenkamp and Tangi (2019) on harsh discipline and violence by teachers and bullying by students in secondary schools in the region of Mwanza in Tanzania.The new established school is also based on the concept of child rights focused schools, on the concept of peer coaching and mentoring as well as on the ideas and ideals of inclusion of all children.
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International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
On the way to child rights focused schools
– establishing a new inclusive and violence free secondary school in Tanzania
Prof. Dr. Margit Stein
Senior Professor for Education
Faculty for Educational and Social Sciences
University of Vechta, Germany
Driverstraße 22
D-49377 Vechta
Email address:
Telephone number: 0049-4441-15-591
Prof. Dr. Daniela Steenkamp
Faculty for Social Work
Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg
Schramberger Str. 28
78054 Villingen-Schwenningen
Telephone number: +49-7720-3906-247
Sr. Dr. Felista Tangi, PhD
Scientific researcher for Education
Saint Augustine University
Mwanza, Tanzania
Email address:
Telephone number: 00225-766-070-760
Daniela Steenkamp will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing, publication and
also post-publication.
ISSN: 2411-5681
The paper reports about the scientifically controlled implementation of a new inclusive and
violence free secondary school in Tanzania which can enroll 250 students. The school
mainly focuses on highly vulnerable students like pupils of rural areas, orphaned children
and youths, children and youths from broken families and poor households and will also
enroll 20% of children with handicaps. A special focus is led on schooling of children with
albinism who have often been exposed to discrimination and even mutilation or murder.
The concept of the school is based on a study (n=597 students)by Stein, Steenkamp and
Tangi (2019) on harsh discipline and violence by teachers and bullying by students in
secondary schools in the region of Mwanza in Tanzania.The new established school is
also based on the concept of child rights focused schools, on the concept of peer coaching
and mentoring as well as on the ideas and ideals of inclusion of all children.
Keywords:Children’s rights, inclusion, integration, school violence,corporal punishment,
bullying, schools, Tanzania
1. Introduction: The establishment of child rights focused schools to fight violence
and exclusion in Tanzania
1.1 Violence by teachers: Violent behavior and corporal punishment
The rate of children and youths in Tanzania experiencing physical, psychological, and
sexual violence in families, neighborhoods, and schools is very high like for example the
‘Violence against Children (VAC) survey’ by the Republic of Tanzania already stated in
2011. The survey
“found that nearly one in three girls and one out of seven boys experience some form
of sexual violence before turning 18. Most children do not report their experience, few
seek services, and even fewer actually receive any care, treatment, or support if they
do report. Rates of physical and emotional violence are high: among girls, 72%
experience some form of physical violence, while for boys the figure is 71%.
Emotional violence affects approximately one quarter of boys and girls.” (United
Republic of Tanzania, 2016, p. 1; see also UNICEF, 2011 and United Republic of
Tanzania, 2013)
It is not clearly stated within the VAC survey whether corporal punishment either in families
or in schools is seen as some form of violence, as rates of children having experienced
corporal punishment e.g. in schools is even higher than the rates of violence reported in
the VAC survey or in the ‘National Plan of Action to end violence against women and
children in Tanzania (NPA-VAWC)(United Republic of Tanzania, 2016), that was set up
as a reaction to the high amount of violence depicted in the VAC survey to prevent and
address violence against children.There are also a lot of studies explicitlydepicting the
amount of corporal punishment and violence by teachers in schools (see table 1). Even
though teachers aim to motivate their students by disciplining them the effects are often
controversy and for example Hecker et al. (2014; 2016), Tangi (2019) and Stein,
Steenkamp and Tangi (2019) show that violence and corporal punishment lead not only to
internalizing and externalizing problems of children and youths but also to school
absenteeism and worse school competency gains. Within table 1 an overview of studies is
given that depict the amount of physical, psychological, and sexual violence by teachers
as well as corporal punishment in schools.
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
Table 1: Studies depicting corporal punishment and violence by teachers in Tanzanian
Authors Year of
publication Study design School Types Amount of violence
Feinstein &
Mwahombela 2010 Questionnaire: 194
students; 254 teachers
Interviews: 14 students
14 teachers
run or privately
funded secondary
About 50% of teachers
used corporal
punishment on a
regular basis
891 13 to 24 year olds
reported about the
violence experienced
before the age of 18
All types of
50% of students
experienced violence
and corporal
Yaghambe &
Tshabangu 2013 Questionnaire:
104 students
50 teachers Secondary schools Almost all students
experienced corporal
Hecker et al. 2014; 2016 Questionnaire:
409 students Primary schools Almost all students
experienced corporal
Stein &
Bockwoldt 2016 Questionnaire:
568 students
Four headmasters Catholic secondary
boarding schools Almost all students
experienced corporal
Hecker et al. 2018 Questionnaire:
222 teachers Secondary schools Almost all used forms
of corporal punishment
Steenkamp &
Tangi 2019
597 students
about 50 interviews with
students, teachers and
disciplinary masters
Secondary schools About 60% of students
experienced corporal
The Republic of Tanzania took several steps within last years and decades to address the
problem ofmassive violence against children and youths in Tanzanian society; for example
it signed and ratified the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (UN General Assembly,
1989) or the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ SDGs (United Nations, 2015), which both
stress the necessity to end all forms of violence and inhumanity against children and
youths, especially within Article 19 of the Convention and in Goal Number 16.2 of the
SDGs. Nevertheless, corporal punishment is not yet forbidden in Tanzania but mentioned
in the ‘Tanzanian National Education Act’ from 1978 and the ‘National Corporal
Punishment Regulations’ from 1979, which both explicitly lay down the legal allowance for
corporal punishment at school. And even the ‘Law of the Child Act’ of 2009 (Art. 13) of the
Republic of Tanzania “allow[s] corporal punishment for ‘justifiable’ correction” (GIEACPC,
reports/UR%20Tanzania.pdf). In 2000, as a first step to reduce arbitrary uses of corporal
punishment by teachers, the allowed amount of stick beatings was reduced to four.
Furthermore, since 2000 only schoolmasters have been allowed to beat students. In
addition, the Republic of Tanzania set up the ‘National Plan of Action to end violence
against women and children in Tanzania (NPA-VAWC)’ in 2016to prevent and respond to
violence against children and youths as a reaction to the findings of UNICEF (2011) and
the ‘Violence against Children (VAC) survey’ mentioned above. Though the NPA-VAWC
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still states that “corporal punishment is lawful in Tanzania” and that it is “regarded by many
as a normalmeans of disciplining children” (United Republic of Tanzania, 2016, p. 1) the
NPA-VAWC criticallymentionsby citing Hecker et a. (2014; 2016) that “there is specific
evidence that this widespread phenomenon results in the opposite of what is intended, i.e.
anti-social rather than pro-social behaviour” (United Republic of Tanzania, 2016, p. 1/2;
see also United Republic of Tanzania, 2013). This sounds very hopeful concerning further
steps not only to abolish arbitrary forms of violence by teachers in schools but also all
forms of corporal punishment.
1.2 Violence among pupils: Acts of bullying
Besides the high rates of physical, psychological, and sexual violence as well as corporal
punishment by teachers, students are also exposed to violence and bullying from fellow
students in Tanzania. Studies addressing school violence and bullying among students in
Tanzania were conducted by Mgalla, Schapink and Boenna (1998), Moris (2006; 2008),
Ndibalema (2013), Kamala, Wilson and Caledonia (2013), Komba, Hizza and Winledy
(2014), Stein and Bockwoldt (2016), and Tangi (2010; 2019) as well as Stein, Steenkamp
and Tangi (2019). There are further studies focusing school violence in sub-SaharanAfrica,
for example in Ethiopia (Terefe & Desere, 1997), Ghana (Leach, Fiscian, Kadzamira,
Lemani & Machakanja, 2003; Afenyadu & Lakshmi, 2003; Owusu-Banahene & Amedahe,
2008; Dunne, Bosomtwi-Sam, Sabates & Owusu, 2010), Cameroon (Mbassa & Daniel,
2001), Malawi (Leach, Fiscian, Kadzamira, Lemani & Machakanja, 2003; Bisika, Ntata &
Konyani, 2009), Nigeria (Egbochuku, 2007; Omoteso, 2010), South Africa (Human Rights
Watch, 2001; Dussich & Maekoya, 2007; Liang, Flisher & Lombard, 2007; Greff & Grobler,
2008; Bhana, 2008), Uganda (Mirembe & Davies, 2001), and Zimbabwe (Zindi, 1994;
Tshabangu, 2008). Brown et al. (2008) conducted a study among youths from the following
African countries: Kenya, Namibia, Morocco, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The study findings showa relatively high frequency of bullying in all eight countries. This
led to various health problems such as persistent psychological problems like feelings of
depression and loneliness, anxiety-related sleep disorders, cigarette smoking, alcohol and
drug abuse, and risky sexual behaviors. The results were compared to youths who had not
been exposed to bullying behaviors. The results show that nearly half (47%) of the youths
reported to have been bullied for at least once during the 30 days preceding the survey.
The results show that the prevalence of exposure to bullying behavior differed across
countries; the relationship between exposure to bully behavior and each of the adverse
health behaviors was documented. A continuous commitment to research exposure to
bullying, violence, and health risky behaviors is needed in Africa. There are further studies
needed to fully understand the burden of bullying and other forms of violence in Africa;not
only by authorities like parents and teachers but also between children and youths are
1.3 Structural violence in Tanzania’s schools: Exclusion of handicapped children
Situation of children with disabilities in Tanzania:
The number of persons with disabilities has been documented well in Tanzania since
about fifteen years. First, in 2002 the National Census in Tanzania included a question
whether the respondent wouldsuffer from a disability. 676.502 (2.0%) of people stated to
be disabled. Unfortunately, the term ‚Disability‘was neither formulated or defined clearly
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
nor divided up into different forms of disabilities and therefore handed the responsibility
over to the respondent to define for oneself what disability means. Therefore, it can neither
be stated clearly whether all respondents with disabilities were really revealed or whether
persons without disabilities clicked the item. Furthermore, the term ‚disability‘ did not allow
to differentiate between temporary or chronical illnesses or different forms of disabilities
like mental, physical, or psychological handicaps. Mesaki (2016;
16-17Aug-2016.pdf) states:
„It was not until the 2008 Tanzania survey on Disability that significant attention was
given to the issue of adequately defining disability for operational purposes based on
the approach developed by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics thus
reflecting the relational and interactional aspects of disability of the United Nations
Convention (61/106) on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), an
approach subsequently providing the basis for the inclusion of disability questions in
other national surveys and censuses.“
In 2008, the ‚Tanzanian Survey on Disability / Disability Survey‘ based on a sample of
7.000 households was conducted by the Republic of Tanzania, which allowed to get more
detailed information on the prevalence of disability. 7.8% of people at least seven years of
oldstated to suffer from a disability in 2008. Especially Tanzania mainland (without
Zanzibar) had a higher prevalence of disabilities (13.3%), and especially rural areas with a
lack of infrastructure were more affected by higher rates of disabilities (8.3%).
People with disabilities and especially persons that face a double situation of
discrimination and exclusion (e.g. like female disabled children, children with disabilities in
rural areas, children that are disabled and orphaned or suffer from HIV/AIDS)are to a much
higher extent vulnerable to risks like being affected by poverty, discrimination, violence,
lack of enrollment, school dropout, analphabetism, and social exclusion.
To address this burning problem of discrimination and exclusion of people with disabilities
the Republic of Tanzania has adopted and implemented a number of conventions, laws,
policies, and standards to stop discriminating people with disabilities, including the right to
get high quality education, vocational training and their share of social involvement. From
the beginning on the Constitution and its amendments of the Republic of Tanzania of 1977
have legallybeen prohibiting all forms of discrimination of persons with disabilities. Also,
Tanzania signed and ratified the ‚United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities (CRPD)‘ and the optional protocol in 2009 as well as other conventions and
treaties that foster the rights of people especially with disabilities. Among these
conventions which also tangle the rights of persons with disabilities are the ‚UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child‘, the ‚African Charter on Human and People’s
Rights‘, the ‚African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child‘ and the ‚Plan of Action
for the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities 1999–2009‘, which was extended to
2019. Based on the data of the‚Disability Survey‘ of 2008 in 2010 the ‚Persons with
Disabilities Act‘ as a national disability mainstreaming strategy (2010-2015) for the
implementation of the ‚African Decade Plan of Action‘was passed by the Republic of
Tanzania, which addressed a much broader range of areas than previous disability
legislation. Also, the country has taken more and more action to prevent disabilities. This
encompasses, for example, health initiatives to eradicate childhood diseases such as polio
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that causes various forms ofdisabilities or strategies for pregnant women.The Republic of
Tanzania formulated a policy (2004) and enacted a law on disability in 2010. The
‚Tanzania National Strategy on Inclusive Education 2009-2017‘was initiated to support
children and youths with disabilities in school (see for more information Sida, 2014,
approach/disability/rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-tanzania.pdf, and Mesaki, 2016,
Nevertheless, besides these legislative efforts to address discrimination and exclusion of
persons and especially children with handicaps by the state and by various private
initiatives.Sida (2014,
based-approach/disability/rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-tanzania.pdf) states that „not
much has been done in this area due to budgetary constraints and lack of political
pressure.“Kuper et al. (2016) conducted a mixed method study in three different areas of
Tanzania to assess the concrete day to day situation of people with disabilities. Though
there are a lot of efforts and legislation to amend their lives, most programs are not
efficient and specific enough to really address the problems of disabled persons or
programs are reduced to urban areas like the Dar es Salaam region:
„People with disabilities are more vulnerable than others to poverty and exclusion
from key services, such as health and education. […] people with disabilities were
aware of social protection programmes in their area but were not targeted
specifically, and benefit packages offered by the programmes were not adapted to
their needs. Modifying mainstream social protection schemes to be inclusive of
people with disabilities may therefore be an important step towards addressing
poverty alleviation goals, including those set out in the recently adopted sustainable
development goals (Goal 1, target 3).“ (Kuper et al., 2016, p. 441)
Besides the efforts of the state there is a broad number of national and international
human rights groups and lobbying groups of and for persons with disabilities which try to
address the problems of persons with disabilities, like the ‚Tanzania Federation of Disabled
People’s Organization (Shvyawata)‘, the ‚Association of People with Disabilities
(Chawata)‘, the ‚People Living with Disabilities(PLWDs)‘, the ‚Tanzania Association for
Mentally Handicapped Persons‘ or the ‚Union for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities‘ in Dar es
Salaam. These groups point out that the bad situation of persons with disabilities is not
only based on a financial lack of money within the state institutions and a lack of political
will and pressure but also deeply roots in obstacles against persons with disabilities within
Tanzanian society. For example, irrespective ofthe political will to form inclusive schools
for all children like laid down in the ‚Tanzania National Strategy on Inclusive Education
2009-2017‘–enrollment rates of children with handicaps are still low, especially in rural
areas. For example, in the rural region of Kagera about 90% of handicapped and disabled
persons are analphabets and cannot write or read. Even nowadays a lot of parents shrink
from sending their disabled children to school for feeling ashamed of having a disabled
child. Also, the furniture is still not suitable for children with handicaps, the ways to school
are too far and toodangerous, and often teachers and fellow students confront disabled
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
children and youths with obstacles, violence, and discrimination (see https://www.tansania- But
inclusive education is more the just enrollment of children with disabilities:
“More needs to be done in inclusive and special education. Inclusive education does
not mean having schools enrolling student with disability as well as nondisabled. It is
more than placement. There has to be sufficient and appropriate teaching and
learning materials, trained teachers and other relevant support services“ (Possi&
Milinga, 2017, p. 55).
Situation of children with albinism in Tanzania:
The situation of children with disabilities is even worse in Tanzania for children and youths
suffering from the genetic disorder of albinism. Albinism is a congenital disorder, which
means that both parents – the father as well as the mother – have to hand on the affected
genes tothe child. People suffering from albinism lack pigments in eyes, hair, and their
skin. There are other problems connected to albinism like a lack in clear view or blindness
and a higher risk for melanomas / skin cancer.As a worldwide phenomenon albinism has a
prevalence rate from about one in 20.000 people worldwide: But it has a much higher
prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Tanzania estimations range from
one inabout 5.000 (Schühle, 2016) to one in 1.400 Tanzanians(Hong, Zeeb& Repacholi,
2006) affected by albinism. About 6.977 albinos are officially registered in Tanzania, while
according to Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer, an albino member of parliament, there may be about
17.000 not registered albinos living in Tanzania. Albinos in Tanzania are exposed to a high
rate of violent acts reaching from exclusion from the society and school to attempts and
attacks to get body parts up to mutilation and murder(Cruz-Inigo, Ladizinski & Sethi, 2011;
Wulfhorst, 2019).
Background ofthe persecutions ison the one hand the common belief that albinism is not a
genetic disorder, but that albinos are cured and bewitched and should be killed as they
cause bad luck. In some tribes albino babies were seen as bad omen and killed or left to
die. On the other hand,it is believed that albinos can guarantee good luck and wealth.
Therefore, their body parts are elements of medical devices and substances witch doctors
create to sell them expansively to people striving for success and health(Cruz-Inigo,
Ladizinski & Sethi, 2011).The Canadian NGO ‘Under the some sun’ striving for better living
conditions for albinos worldwide lists the different prevailing myths (Under the same sun,
2013, p. 4):
- “Albinism is a curse from the gods or from dead ancestors. As a result,contact
with a PWA [person with albinism] will bring bad luck, sickness or even death […]
- People with albinism never die. They are not human - they are ghosts […]
- Having sex with a woman with albinism will cure AIDS […]
- A charm or potion made from the body parts of PWA has magical powers –
bringing its owners wealth, success and good luck.”
Research shows that even a lot of albinos themselves and relatives of albinos believed
into these myths:
ISSN: 2411-5681
“Although 59 (63%) respondents had an albino relative, only 13 (14%) believed
albinism to be an inherited condition. More common were beliefs in numerous local
superstitions explaining the cause of albinism. Most of these concerned a curse
being put on the family or the mother eating with an albino or shaking hands with an
albino.” (McBride & Leppard, 2002, p. 630).
The persecution of albinos in sub-Saharan Africa is so massive and excessive that the UN
declared in its Resolution 23/13 that the attacks against albinos have to be stopped
(Resolution: ‚People with albinism have a right to live without fear of bullying and
discrimination‘) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
submitted a report on ‚Persons with Albinism‘ (see also Cruz-Inigo, Ladizinski & Sethi,
2011; Wulfhorst, 2019).
Reporting on the situation in Tanzania albinos are especially persecuted and victims of
mutilation and murder in the rural areas of Shinyanga and Mwanza – where also the newly
founded inclusive school is located. Schüle (2016, p. 10) states within her report that most
killings in Tanzania were reported “in Tanzania’s northwest around the bustling city of
Mwanza”. To avoid persecution a lot of albinos fled to urban areas, mostly to Dar es
Salaam, or children were detained in special c enters where they
are safe from persecution but do not get schooling or special education.
2. Goals and methods of inclusivechild rights focused schools to fight violence and
foster inclusion
Establishing legislation against violence in child rights focused schools
In recent years, numerous efforts have been made worldwide and also in Tanzania to
anchor children's rights more firmly in schools to fight violence and bullying andinitiate
more inclusive schools. Based on the alarming survey results on the violent situation in
Tanzania especially for handicapped children –, the state of Tanzania in particular has
committed itself to making efforts to prevent and address violence against children in all
settings. A central educational challenge for the state of Tanzania is to develop an
education and vocational training system based on children's rights and to adapt it to the
requirements arising from the ‚UN Convention on the Rights of the Child‘ and from the ‚UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities‘.
Children's rights must be fostered in schools at three levels: at the level of knowledge,
action and attitude. For the school system this means:
1. Children must be protected from violations of children's rights in the context of
schooling. For example, this encompasses the right to be protectedagainst violence by
teachers including the abolition of corporal punishment at school but also protection
against bullying by other pupils. Legislation must be implemented to forbid all forms of
corporal punishment and a system of sanctions must be established, for example if
teachers nevertheless use violence or corporal and humiliating punishment against pupils
or if pupils show violent behavior against each other.
2. Furthermore, children must be told and educated about their inalienable rights – this
concerns, for example, the right to health and the right to education regardless of disability,
the right to leisure, but also the right to cultural participation in the context of school.
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
3. Children must be actively involved in the school context and be able to help shape it in a
democratic manner.
The current debate on children's rights in school must be systematically linked with the
discourse on school quality. Child rights-based work must be given greater consideration
in empirical educational research as one dimension of quality in education. This could be
achieved through the development of a children’s rights audit or mainstreaming related to
children's rights, like, for example, the European Council (online)proposes. The European
Council’s proposal to establish a children’s rights audit can also be applied worldwide to
other countries, also countries in Africa.
To establish achild rights-focused school culture and school environment means therefore
not only to work in the best interest of children and youths, but also means to redesign the
school system in the best interest of the child, including direct participation of children, as
no process should take place without children’s and youth’s participlation. Child rights-
based organizational development can be successful with the help of auditing to make
sure that the school is based on the principles of inclusion and democracy. In recent
yearsvarious index models have been proposed which aim to help organizations in their
holistic auditing process and to develop indicators for child rights-based/human rights-
based schools/organizations. Examples include the ‘Index for Inclusion’, the ‘Human
Rights Friendly Schools’ of Amnesty International (
rights-education/human-rights-friendly-schools/), the ‘Child Friendly Schools’ of UNICEF
(, the ‘Child Rights Programming’ of Save The Children
rights-programming-crp), the ‘School Climate Index’ of the Human Rights Resources
Center/ University of Minnesota and the Democracy Audit of DeGeDe.
Qualified teachers in child rights focused schools:
Various studies in recent years have indicated that both democracy and human rights
education as well as non-violent classroom management are not sufficiently anchored
within teacher training in Tanzania. What is needed is the development of competence
profiles based on child rights for teacher education and training. Further training courses
and workshops for teachers should be more closely integrated in the curricula at
Child rights-based teaching development needs assistance for teachers in non-violent and
inclusive classroom management.
First, governmental, clerical and regional school authorities should legally forbid to use
corporal punishment in schools and also establish a system of sanctions for teachers still
using violent means in schools.
A study of Hecker et al. (2018) showed that a high level of unsatisfaction due to bad
structural school environments and low payment rates enhances stress and negative
emotions in teachers and makes violent forms of classroom management more likely.
Therefore, the challenge is to assist teachers in reducing stress by “structural changes like
smaller classes, sufficient teaching resources, and adequate payment” (Hecker et al.,
2018, p. 180).
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It is of high importance to develop alternative non-violent and child-orientated means of
classroom management strategies to assist teachers and integrate these into teacher
training at university. It is necessary to reflect on common disciplinary strategies used in
schools, to challenge common traditions about corporal punishment and to reflect on and
learn about the consequences of violent behavior and corporal punishment for the affected
children (Stein, Steenkamp &Tangi, 2019).
Within this domain an interesting concept called ‘Interaction Competencies with Children
for Teachers (ICC-T)’ was developed by Nkuba et al. (2018) and Kaltenbach et al. (2017)
that was already tested and implemented in schools in Tanzania (Nkuba et al., 2018) and
Uganda (Ssenyonga et al., 2018). It trains teachers in nonviolent interaction with children
and youths and was positivelyevaluated.
Furthermore, teachers in Eastern Africa like Tanzania and Uganda often lack training
materials and study books in Swahili, mother tongue of more than 100 million people in
Eastern Africa. Therefore, Stein and Steenkamp (2017) published a handbook in Swahili
(‘Mwongozo wahukabiliana na unyanyasaji kwenye mazingira ya shule nchini Tanzania’)
which assembles online material in Swahili that deals with alternative methods of
classroom management, positive psychology and evidence-based alternative methods of
discipline to motivate students. Also, materials to address the widespread problem of
bullying was published (
UNYANYASAJI.pdf). Teachers often lack information on alternative ways to motivate
students to study with a high interest or to behave properly without bullying and
discriminating others. Teachers must be informed about the bad and negative
consequences of their violent and harsh behavior that is contraproductive to the means
they strive for.
In particular, great hopes are pinnedon the so-called digital revolution, which is a great
advantage for teachers, especially when there is a shortage of money for printed materials,
while a lot of teachers already have smartphones, tablets or access to computers with
internet access. Especially material on Swahili is still rare, so that the mentioned manual
and the homepage on Swahili can help in this regard.
Social learning and assistance via coaching and mentoring
Also concepts of coaching and mentoring to assist pupils with special needs should be
strengthened. Mentoring and coaching originally stem from the field of adult education, but
are also increasingly used in schools (Stein, 2019).
In particular, through coaching and mentoring children and youths with special educational
needs, such as disabilities, can be supported by individualized guidance. Two different
approaches can be distinguished: (1) intergenerational coaching and mentoring and (2)
peer concepts: In the case of intergenerational coaching and mentoring, the coaches and
mentors are usually persons who have already been successfully integrated into social
and/or professional life like students or young workers. In contrast to the intergenerational
programs, peer approaches offer less instrumental than emotional support and offer a
higher level of identification for young people, as the coaches and mentors are people of
comparable age and background like fellow students.
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
The impact mechanisms of the concepts are based on the one hand on the possibility of
instrumental support like networking or interpersonal learning. Coaching in particular also
offers methodological support like guidance for self-reflection with regard to one's own
given and desired competencies and interests.On the other hand, coaching and mentoring
are based on the effect of model learning and in particular rely on the motivational effect.
The mentees can observe the already established mentors as successful models in their
professional lives (Stein, 2019). Figure 2 sums up the three main aspects that encompass
an inclusive and child rights focused school.
School organization: Teachers / staff: Teaching methodologies:
Is there a school program based
on child rights?
Is there a concept protecting
students against physical,
psychological and sexual
violence by teachers and fellow
Is there a program for non-violent
conflict resolutions in situations of
bullying between pupils?
Are their sanctions for violent
behavior by teachers and pupils?
Participation rights: Are there
classroom and school councils,
students' representatives and a
students' parliament?
Is the school inclusive?
What are the qualifications of the
Is the staff qualified in non-violent
teaching, good classroom
management, and positive
Is there a competence profile
based on child rights?
Does the staff have access to
studying materials and
compendiums of high quality –
also in online form?
Is the staff competent in non-
violent teaching methodologies?
Are there workshops for
How is the topic of children's
rights integrated into the
curriculum and as a cross-cutting
Is there a concept of "learning
through engagement"?
Is there a high-quality, non-
violent classroom management?
Are there programs and
approaches to address bullying in
schools between pupils?
Is there peer-to-peer coaching
and mentoring?
Fig. 1: Summary of the aspects of a child rights focused inclusive school
Also, the Republic of Tanzania sums up their efforts to prevent children and youths in
school from all forms of violence and state:
„The NPA-VAWC incorporates multiple strategies to address violence within
educational settings. To effectively implement these strategies, the NPA-VAWC
emphasizes fully engagement of school board members, administrators, parents,
students, community members, emergency response personnel and law enforcers in
finding collaborative solutions for prevention and response. Interventions under this
thematic area include: enhancing teachers’ skills in promoting positive discipline;
helping children to learn discipline, skills to enhance their own protection and life
skills; ensuring that schools have a referral system for children in need of response
services; introducing the positive parenting curriculum; promoting child participation
through establishing children’s clubs in schools; and providing school hygiene“
(Republic of Tanzania, 2016, p. 19).
3. Best practice: Establishing a new inclusive child rights focused school in
Nyashishi, Tanzania
The foundation of the new St. Therese secondary school in Nyashishi, Misungwi in
Mwanza Region Tanzania is based on findings from the project of fighting violence against
children and youths in Tanzanian Schools by Stein, Steenkamp and Tangi (2019; see also
Stein & Bockwoldt, 2016) reported above in part 1 of the article and on the ideas of
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founding child rights focused schools by Steenkamp and Stein depicted in part 2 of the
History of the school: The new St. Therese inclusive secondary school will be run by the
Missionary sisters of St. Therese of the child Jesus / Teresina sisters, a Catholic Religious
Congregation founded in 1935 in Iringa, Tanzania by the late Monsignor Francisco
Cagliero, a Consolata Missionary. The Teresina Sisters are working in different parishes
and communities in Tanzania, also in the Arch Diocese of Mwanza at St. Augustine
University of Tanzania (SAUT). As working in different educational and health sectors, the
sisters run established nursery schools in Nyahingi and Tosamaganga and 60
kindergardens in which they educate and care for children up to six years on basis of an
inclusive and violence free setting. In February 2019 a first group of children, boys and
girls, were enrolled in the new St. Therese inclusive secondary school in Nyashishi
Misungwi district in Tanzanian.The project was set up in consultation with the authorities of
the Missionary sisters of St Therese of the Child Jesus, the Arc Bishop of Mwanza
Diocece, The Nyashishi Communities Managing Director (Texas) Hardware Ltd., the District
commissioner of Misungwi District, Regional Educational officer of the Mwanza Region,
the District Educational officer of Misungwi and the group of Canadian vulnteer team
leaders (Jocelyne Martine and the late Patrick Tungu). The project is scientifically
coordinated and evaluated by the StudentTeachers Department of Education of St.
Augustine University in Mwanza (SAUT), Tanzania, and the Department of Education of
the University of Vechta, Germany. The Regional Educational officer of the Mwanza
Region and the District Educational officer of Misungwi were interviewed within the project
fighting school violence in Tanzania before by Tangi (2019) and the universities in
Mwanza/Tanzania and Vechta/Germany were involved within the project (see Stein &
Bockwoldt, 2016; Stein, Steenkamp & Tangi, 2019; Tangi, 2019).
Location of the school:The new inclusive and child rights focused school is located in the
Nyashishi Misungwi District, Mwanza Region in Tanzania. It is a highly rural district far
away from the bigger cities and the ocean: According to the 2012 Tanzanian Census,
mentioned already in part 1.3, the population of the Misungwi District was 351.607 in 2012,
of which only 30.728 persons livedin the urban area of Misungwi town.The land for building
the new inclusive St. Therese secondary school in Nyashishi-Misungwi Mwanza Region
Tanzania was bought in 2015 with the Teresina sisters’ salaries and financial help from
local parishes and churches in the Mwanza Diocese. Since then, the land was prepared for
the construction of several buildings, mostly finished in early 2019 (see Table 2 in the
attachment). While the first pupils are educated in the new school the construction of
further laboratories and wash rooms is going on to make a violence free schooling possible
for even more pupils. The new school was also carefully chosen to be located in the rural
area of the Lake Victoria which is highly affected by discrimination against persons
suffering from albinism (see part 1.3) to create a safe school environment for especially
marginalized and vulnerable groups of children and youths. Especially girls, pupils from
rural areas and albino children form the Lake Victoria regions are highly vulnerable to
school violence, corporal punishment, and even murder and mutilation. For example, the
vulnerability of female students and students from rural areas was depicted in the
interviews Tangi led within her thesis with pupils and teachers from that region (2019):
International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 7 No. 11 November 2019
High vulnerability of girls: "We are always bullied by teachers. You can find every
time teachers telling us ‘You girls go and fetch some wateror you girls go and clean
the toilets, you girls go and do that’. But boys are never told to go to fetch water
neither to clean toilets, but they are left playing football. The water is found in long
distance. All these things we are doing during the classroom learning activities. Boys
are not given these duties and they are telling us we have to do so because we are
the females, these are the duties which traditionally are done by women at home."
(Interviewed female student).
Tangi (2019) also depicts that the home location contributesto bullying and violence in
schools. One of the interviewed teacher states regarding the high vulnerability of students
from rural areas:
“'Students from rural areas in this school are more bullied because they are given
more work by their parents at home – mostly fetching water which is a big problem in
this area which makes them to come late to school. As a result, they always are
given punishments in front of other students so that other students should stop that
behaviors of coming late to school. At the same time, due to the limited chairs in
classrooms, those who came late end up missing chairs sometimes others are
pushing them here and there and they feel embarrassed” (Interviewed teacher).
High vulnerability of albinos: In Tanzania, the most affected areas for murder and
mutilation of albino children and youths are the Lake Victoria regions of Mara, Mwanza,
Shinyanga and Kagera. These regions are rich in minerals and commercial fishing
activities and are therefore especially affected by the beliefs of witch doctors to take
advantage of wealth seekers. The new founded inclusive child rights focused secondary
school especially cares for young albinos who, after leaving Mitindo primary school, would
attend a safe inclusive secondary school at St. Therese secondary school.
School philosophy of the new school: The new inclusive child rights focused school seeks
to help especially female, rural, handicapped and orphaned Tanzanian children and
adolescents to access inclusive educational services in a non-violent settingwithout
corporal punishment and bullying based on evidence-based teaching methodologies.
Inclusive education is a key policy objective for the education of children and youths with
special educational needs and disabilities. The new school will be a safe environment for
the children and adolescents enrolled. The school will also contribute to offer an
employment and internships to university student teachers in Tanzania mainly from SAUT
to teach in the new school nearby in the Nyashishi-Misungwi District in Mwanza Region.
The teachers employed and children attending St.Therese new inclusive secondary school
should live, work and learn together within the spirit of a family setting. Pupils enrolled will
be respectedand protected to form St.Therese secondary school into a model secondary
school offering inclusive education without any form of isolation, exclusion, bullying,
violence or corporal or humiliatingpunishment. The school aims at reaching a total of 250
secondary school children in the catchment area of Misungwi district; about 20% of the
students would be special needs students, especially pupils with albinism, other mental,
psychological or physical handicaps and disabilities and with problems of HIV/AIDS. The
school also enrolls especially orphans, children from poor and broken families andchildren
with social problems. The school’s objective is to empower students and take care of them
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especially those who are perceived to be weak in the Tanzanian society like orphans or
handicapped children. Pupils will learn to appreciate diversity and respect and understand
children of differing abilities and cultures, as these kids play and learn together. They will
not develop behaviors of hurting or hunting children with albinism or otherhandicaps.
Schools are important places for children to develop friendships and learn social skills;
both skills are cornerstones for emotional and intellectual competence. In inclusive
classrooms children are expected to learn to read, write and do mathematics cooperatively
and without exclusion. The philosophy of inclusion is helping all children to learn and
benefit morally, academically and socially.
Methodical and didactical concepts in the new school
Sensitive teacher-student interactions: The children are taught to play peacefully with
supportive adults who educate rather than using strict discipline. The teachers believe in
emotional competence allowing the child to form a connectedness that grows into a sense
of shared humanity. The teachers at the new school have to sign a contract not to use any
form of cruel or inhumane behavior or punishment, but live and teach in a non-violent
manner. Pupils can report any form of violence to the headmaster.
Mentoring and coaching by university students: In order to achieve these objectives,
students with albinism and orphans and those with disabilities will be welcomed by their
fellow students and the staff. They will get mentors from university student teachers who
are well trained, empathic and emotionally stable. St.Therese inclusive secondary school
will ensure access to quality education for all students by effectively meeting their diverse
needs in a manner that is responsive, accepting, respectful and supportive. Students who
will be participating in a common learning environment will be respected to diminish
barriers and obstacles that lead to exclusion. Pupils will have various opportunities and will
be motivated to learn in all aspects including sports and a music program.
Sustainability and transfer into the local community: Furthermore, the nearby community
will benefit from the different services and the sustainable development that will be
triggered by the new school. Pupils and teachers will grow a garden and plant trees and
animals will be kept. Eventually a medical dispensary and water services will be provided
and other inhabitants of the village can benefit from this.
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Attachment: Photographs, maps and site plans of the new established school
Fig. 2:The sisters with the newly enrolled students in the new school
(source: Felista Tangi)
Fig. 3: Physics and chemistry laboratories right in the photo(source: Felista Tangi)
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Fig. 4:Site plan of the St. Therese inclusive secondary school
Tab. 2:Numbers of classrooms and furniture of the new established school which are
required and those which are available
No Items Reequired Available
1 Classrooms 12 building 4 Clasrooms available
2 Dormitories and 3 buildings No domitories
3 laboratories 3 laboratories 3 laboratoriesare available
4 Latrine (holes) 12 are ready 12 latrine holes are available
5 Desks 500 40 desks are available
6 Library 1 1 library is available
7 Transport 1 No transport
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Full-text available
The paper presents data on harsh discipline and violence by teachers in its relation to academic achievement of students from secondary schools. A representative questionnaire based survey was conducted in 13 schools in three districts in the region of Mwanza in Tanzania to capture amount and forms of corporal punishment and violence experienced in school in its effect on achievement and national examination results. 597 students participated and reported about a broad variety of forms of violence by teachers, including physical violence and corporal punishment, psychological violence and humiliation as well as sexual abuse. This violence was related to academic achievement and results as well on individual level as on school level, as schools with a very high culture of violence showed less academic performance as a whole in the national examination CSSE after Form IV.
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The high global prevalence of school violence underlines the need for prevention. However, there are few scientifically evaluated intervention approaches that aim at preventing violence by teachers. We evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of the preventative intervention Interaction Competencies with Children for Teachers (ICC-T). In a cluster randomized controlled trial we assessed attitudes towards and use of violence by teachers (self-reported and reported by students) at eight schools in four regions in Tanzania. Two regions were randomly assigned as intervention regions. Data were assessed in the months before and three months after intervention. In total, 158 teachers (58% females; age: 32.08 years, SD = 5.65) and 486 students (54% females; age: 15.61 years, SD = 0.89) participated in this study. The feasibility was very good: Participants' acceptance was high and they reported a good integration of the core elements in their working routine. The significantly stronger decrease in the use of emotional and physical violence reported both by teachers and students as well as the stronger decrease in positive attitudes of teachers towards physical and emotional violence in the intervention schools at follow-up provide initial evidence of the efficacy. However, further evidence for the sustainability of its effect is needed.
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Background: An adolescent's school is often the second most important place for his development and education after the home. However, reports highlight the recurrence of the use of violent discipline in schools. There are few school-based interventions that aim at reducing violence at school that have been implemented and evaluated in sub-Saharan Africa. To reduce violent disciplinary measures used at school, we aim to implement and evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of the preventative intervention Interaction Competencies with Children for Teachers (ICC-T). Methods/design: The study will be conducted in six randomly selected districts of the Ankole region in southwestern Uganda. We shall randomly select two mixed-day secondary schools from each district that fulfill our inclusion criteria. Schools will be randomly assigned to the intervention condition, where ICC-T will be implemented, and control schools (no intervention). Sixty students between the ages of 12 and 17 years and at least 15 teachers per school will be included in the trial. We aim to collect pre-assessment data directly before the intervention (t1) and 3 months after the intervention (t2) in both intervention and control schools. Using self-administered questionnaires, we will measure students' exposure to violence using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), their psychological well-being using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and teachers' positive attitudes towards violent disciplining and teachers' use of violent disciplinary methods (CTS). The implementation feasibility of ICC-T in the cultural context of southwestern Uganda will be assessed with purpose-built measures that follow the guidelines for feasibility studies assessing the demand, applicability, acceptability, and integration of core elements in the daily work. Discussion: The proposed study will allow us to test the feasibility and efficacy of a preventative intervention seeking to reduce violent disciplinary measures in school settings using a scientifically rigorous design. The proposed study provides the opportunity to contribute to the attainment of goal number 16.2 of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Agenda 2015-2030, which aspires to end all forms of violence against children. Trial registration:, NCT03051854 . Registered on 14 February 2017.
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Special education was introduced in Tanzania Mainland in 1950 by the Church Missionary Society. Despite its long history in the country, not many policies have clearly stipulated the need for special and inclusive education. This paper succinctly and systematically evaluates various educational reforms and policies in Tanzania, and points out some successes and embedded challenges in the development of special needs and inclusive education in Tanzania. To analyze clearly the current situation of special and inclusive education in the country, the Peter’s model and cases of some identified schools for exceptional students are used. The analysis has indicated an evolution from special to integrated and later on to inclusive education, which has led to an apparent increase in the number of schools and subsequent relatively higher enrollment figures for children with special needs. Despite this evolution, Tanzania has a long way to go, when compared to other countries in effectively achieving the provision of education to exceptional individuals. Finally, towards a new era of special and inclusive education in Tanzania, various recommendations are offered.
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High prevalence rates of corporal punishment in schools worldwide and the associated negative mental health issues show the need for interventions addressing this problem. Yet, so far there are very few intervention studies aimed at altering corporal punishment administered by teachers, particularly in low- or middle-income countries. To conduct a feasibility study of the newly developed intervention approach, Interaction Competencies with Children for Teachers (ICC-T)—a training workshop designed to prevent corporal punishment and improve the teacher-student relationship. The 1-week ICC-T intervention was conducted with 30 teachers in a Tanzanian primary school. Participants filled out a survey before, directly after, and 3 months following the intervention. The widespread use of corporal punishment indicated strong demand for a preventive intervention. The feasibility of ICC-T was good: Despite challenging conditions, implementation of the training and participants’ acceptance was high. Further, participants reported a good integration of the training’s core elements in their daily working routine, improvements in the teacher-student relationships, and in the students’ behavior. ICC-T shows a promising feasibility in the Tanzanian teacher sample. These encouraging results highlight the need for further studies testing the efficacy, sustainability, and effects of ICC-T on the students’ well-being.
This study examined forms of violence in Zimbabwean schools and sought to draw an analogy with the country’s macro-politics. Key interrelationships emerged which painted an endemic culture of violence. Over three hundred (300) students and eighty, (80) teachers submitted 2 - 3 page-written accounts on their schools’ micro-politics. Thirty, (30) trainee teachers and seven (7) lecturers also completed a qualitative questionnaire. Cartoons were also used to capture the experience of citizens in the macro-politics. The degrading and violent disciplinary networks applied by teachers on students in violation of statutory disciplinary regulations were noted. It was also established that knowledge discourses and new trainee teachers have been politicised into partisanship and intolerance, a situation that may serve to perpetuate a violent culture and compromise teacher professionalism. This article therefore discussed participants’ accounts and concluded by posing key points and recommendations which were seen as critical, if Zimbabwe is to untangle from the gripping forces of violence.
School bullying is becoming a threat that no school can afford to dismiss. Although many demographic variables associated with bullying have been examined, there has been no study in Nigeria, which has looked into comparison between Government and Private/Mission schools. This study examined this neglected demographic variable in addition to establishing the incidence of bullying in schools in Benin City, Edo state. It was found that 78% of the children have been victims of bullying on at least one occasion and 71% have lashed out at others at least once. However, more boys than girls were found to be both bullies and victims (χ²= 18.570, p<0.01). Boys reported being kicked or hit more often than girls (χ² = 13.302, p<0.01). The result shows that it was more common for bullying to take place in the classroom in government schools than in private schools (χ² = 43.773, p<0.05). The result demonstrated significant differences between the schools investigated. However, significantly more private schools reported kicking and hitting taking place in the playground than in the government schools, whereas bullying is more likely to take place in the classroom in government schools. It is recommended that counsellors play a significant role in combating the patterns of unhappiness and violence out of which much bullying arises.
Violent forms of discipline in schools continue to be widespread across the globe despite their damaging effects. Since little is known about factors influencing the extent of violence applied by teachers, this study aimed to investigate the influence of teachers' stress, work satisfaction, and personal characteristics on their disciplining style. Using structural equation modeling, associations between violent discipline, burnout symptoms, and job perceptions (pressure and difficulties in class) reported by 222 teachers from 11 secondary schools in Tanzania in 2015 were analyzed. Results indicated a direct association between perceived stress and emotional violent discipline (β=.18, p<.05) as well as physical violent discipline (β=.37, p<.001). Perceived stress also mediated the association between job perceptions and both forms of violent disciplining. The model showed good model fit (χ(2) [44, n=222]=67.47 (p=.013), CFI=.94, TLI=.91, IFI=.94, RMSEA=.049 [90%-CI=.02-.07, PCLOSE=.50], SRMR=.06). Our findings suggest that teachers' personal perceptions of their work as well as their stress burden play a role in their disciplining styles. Our findings underline the importance of integrating topics, such as stress and coping as well as positive, nonviolent discipline measures into the regular teacher's training and in addition to develop and evaluate school-based preventative interventions for teachers.
People with disabilities are more vulnerable than others to poverty and exclusion from key services, such as health and education. Consequently, they particularly need social protection, yet may have difficulties accessing these programmes. This study aims to assess the need for, and inclusion in, social protection programmes among people with disabilities compared to those without, in three districts in Tanzania. Using a mixed methods approach, our study finds that although the need for social protection programmes was higher among people with disabilities compared to the general population, this was not matched by higher enrolment. People with disabilities were aware of social protection programmes in their area but were not targeted specifically, and benefit packages offered by the programmes were not adapted to their needs. Modifying mainstream social protection schemes to be inclusive of people with disabilities may therefore be an important step towards addressing poverty alleviation goals, including those set out in the recently adopted sustainable development goals (Goal 1, target 3).