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Sociocultural Factors associated with learners’ poor academic performance in Lushoto Primary Schools, Tanzania

George Kahangwa


This paper reports the findings of a study that was undertaken in Lushoto district, Tanzania, to examine the sociocultural factors contributing to persistent poor academic performance of pupils in the district’s public primary schools, and determine how to redress the situation. The study identified the key sociocultural factors condemning the learners to poor performances regardless of their efforts in both local and national examinations to include community members’ habits of engaging children in early social obligations and income-generation. As a result, the children were reduced to part-time readers; or their return to formal education was significantly curtailed. Such blatant disregard for formal learning among parents undercut the prospects of the pupils since they receive little or no support, let alone encouragement from their parents, other community members, and even peers. This already dire situation has been compounded by the common preference for Islamic madrasa over formal education in the district. Furthermore, traditional beliefs and practices distracted the learners’ attention to formal schooling.

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eISSN: 2591-6831
print ISSN: 0856-9622