Perceptions of secondary school teachers towards school expulsion of pregnant adolescents at Igunga District, Tanzani: a qualitative study

Hamida Nkata, Sandra C S Marques, Tumaini Nyamhanga, Henrique Barros

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Abstract

In Tanzania, adolescent pregnancy results in a denial of the girl's fundamental right to education. School expulsion of pregnant adolescents is a common practice exercised by teachers in this country for decades. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and feelings of secondary school teachers towards this practice.

METHODS: The study used a qualitative approach comprising focus groups and individual semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of sixteen teachers and nine headmasters (n = 25) from nine secondary schools of the rural Igunga district, in Tabora region, Tanzania. Data was collected in March to June 2017 and submitted to thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Though most participants were not satisfied with the practice, their role on the expulsion of pregnant students was perceived as mandatory by law and regulations. Main argument in favor was its deterrent effect, yet the review of schools' registries did not sustain that perception. Stigma and fear of contamination added a relevant contribution to its implementation. Conflicting feelings among teachers were also disclosed.

CONCLUSION: This study was of most value to understand current perceptions and feelings of those who exercise the practice of banning pregnant adolescents from school in Tanzania, while having identified some of the cultural and social believes acting as influential factors in its pervasiveness. International and national human rights organizations should increase their efforts and campaigns in order to strength social awareness of the benefit of females' education to society as a whole and of adopting policies and practices in support of their equal right to education.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere141
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPorto biomedical journal
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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