Spirit of Inquiry of Out-of-School Youth in Rural Southern Tanzania: How Formal Schooling Shapes Receptivity of New Information to Improve Their Livelihoods

Daniel Michael Roberts, Douglas McFalls, Alisha M.B. Brown, Philipo Lulale Msilanga

Abstract


Objective: Most youth in Sub-Saharan Africa are not enrolled in school. Although more youth are enrolling inschool, they are increasingly less likely to complete their primary and secondary schooling. Similarly to many otherAfrican nations, Tanzania has an estimated out-of-school population of 49% of youth despite massivepost-millennium investments which have significantly raised enrollment rates. Due to a high unemployment rate,rural youth commonly opt to pursue employment in cities or carry out agricultural work at home. However, theirability to procure formal employment is hindered by competition due to a high youth population density. This studysought to understand how youth with different levels of formal educational attainment (no schooling, primaryschooling, secondary schooling) learn information in their community and formal schooling to improve theirlivelihoods and develop sustainable practices for generating income.Methods: Through semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, the study examinesdifferences between the groups in what they seek to understand and the different pathways they use to learn.Results: Although there were positive effects of schooling among the participants in this study in terms of boostingtheir self-confidence and self-esteem, youth dropouts with schooling experience overwhelmingly reported that theydid not learn approaches and information in their schools that were beneficial for improving their livelihoods.Conclusions: Since the majority of Tanzanian students, and particularly those from rural areas, will be unable tostudy in higher education institutions, educational programs for youth in school and for school dropouts are moreeffective which center on methods for learning new information that are applicable to their intended occupationwithin their community and which also prepare them for participating in the workforce.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v5n3p27

 

World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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