Alphonce J. Amuli


Despite the issuance of policy directives, fire disaster events have continued recurring in Tanzania’s secondary schools unabated over the years. This paper, therefore, is based on a study that was conducted to answer the research question: Why do fire disasters continue to occur in Tanzania’s secondary schools despite the existence of policy directives issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) for mitigating the problem? The study was guided by the critical policy analysis theory to investigate the efficiency of policy directives to manage fire outbreaks in secondary schools in three regions of Tanzania namely, Iringa, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro, as well as the MoEST Headquarters. The researcher adopted purposive sampling techniques to draw a sample of 116 participants from Zonal School Quality Assurers (ZSQAs), Regional Education Officers (REOs), District Secondary Education Officers (DSEOs), School Board Members (SBMs), Heads of Schools (HoSs), teachers and students, and the Commissioner of Education (CoE). The information from the participants was gathered using face-to-face interviews and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs). The study found that hardly had the policies issued by MoEST managed to mitigate the occurrence of fire outbreaks in the country’s secondary schools. The recurrence of the problem was aggravated by little initiatives on the part of the ministry to ensure that the policies issued are clearly understood by the implementers (Heads of School, teachers and students) at the secondary school level. Moreover, the system in place largely fails to solve on time inhibiting factors such as lack of accountability, making close follow-up and creating an enabling environment on the part of school authorities to facilitate the smooth implementation of policy directives. Thus, the study calls for a coherent formulation and implementation of policies coupled with capacity-building among key implementers at the secondary school level to curb regular occurrences of fire disaster events.


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