Class repetition
: the experience of young people of repeating a class in primary school education in Tanzania

  • Oliver Kishebuka

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Social Science (DSocSci)


Education is one of the dimensional indices used to calculate Human development. In the last 10 years, the quality of education in Tanzania has rendered a large number of children finishing basic primary education unable to read or and in some cases being required to repeat a class. In Tanzania, class repetition is considered to be a strategy that assists literacy in children by availing them another opportunity to participate in lessons and re-sit examinations for the failed year. The concept is contested in other parts of the world where studies suggest that withholding children has negative consequences on children’s future academic and socio-emotional outcomes thus further affecting educational performance.

This study looked at the experience of young people of repeating a class in a society where education is given great emphasis as means of social mobility. It looked at the experience of the young people in Tanzania, in the context of the various systems surrounding them and interacting with them (both directly and indirectly) such as their families, schools, neighbourhoods, communities, education policies and laws; and how such systems either fostered or hindered their resilience when repeating a class. Using responses from young people who were this study’s key informants and comparative approaches based on resilience and ecological framework, the study highlights how the process of decision making impacted and influenced the perception of young people of repeating a class as well as influenced these young people’s overall experience of repeating a class. Young people’s participation and consultation in the process of decision making was given great significance and as such, a model has been developed to emphasize children’s voices, approaches and interventions that are child-centred.
Date of Award25 Sept 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorSandra Dowling (Supervisor) & Pauline Heslop (Supervisor)

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