Rahma M. Msoffe, Fauzia Mohamed


Gender equality in education has been an issue of interest in developing strategies for many countries across the world whereas gender issues have been integrated into the world development agendas. Despite efforts made to achieve gender equality in education, few countries worldwide have attained full gender parity in secondary education. Tanzania like other SSA countries has worked hard to achieve gender equality in education as given by EFA goal number 5, MDG goal number 3 and currently SDG goal number 5. However, the problem of girls dropping out early from school and poor academic performance continues to be prevalent (URT, 2016). Long school distance is pointed out as one of the factors influencing gender inequality in secondary education. This study, therefore, examined the effects of school distance on girls’ education and its influence on gender inequality in secondary education. The study was guided by three specific objectives, which were carried out through Cross-Sectional - Convergent Parallel Mixed methods research design to allow simultaneous collection and merging of quantitative and qualitative data. The sample was obtained by using simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques making a total of 101 sample sizes, comprising 79 respondents for quantitative data and 22 for qualitative information. Data analysis involved thematic analysis for qualitative data and descriptive statistics for quantitative findings. Study findings revealed that girls are more vulnerable to the problem of long school distances than boys because of biological formation and socially constructed beliefs about gender roles. The study findings noted that school distance encourages the prevalence of sexual harassment, early sexual relations and teenage pregnancy among school girls all of which lead to poor academic performance and or school dropout. Additionally, this study indicated that school distance coupled with the burden of domestic chores negatively affects girls’ school attendance, classroom learning and academic performance. This study, therefore, concludes that long school distance is one among main factors that affect girls’ education and contribute to the persistence of gender disparities in secondary education. To resolve the problem, this study recommends on the introduction of education PPPs so as to merge efforts among education stakeholders in building school hostels in every community secondary school in the country and fully furnish them with the required facilities.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejsss.v8i4.1421

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