Education, capabilities and development - youth in rural Tanzania
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This thesis is exploring the relationship between education and development with focus on formal schools ability to enhance capabilities among youth in rural Tanzania. Tanzania has had a focus on education since the independence. The focus has mainly been on giving all children primary education, and this focus has been reinforced by the international emphasis of Education for All. There is a general agreement on educations importance for development. Even so the arguments about what kind of role formal schooling should play vary. Five years ago almost no Tanzanian youth had the possibility for secondary education; today the number is increasing because of newly built schools.The study is mainly done in Haydom village in Mbulu district in October to December 2009. In the collection of data semi -structured interviews has been the main method. Information has been gathered from youth, parents, teachers, one headmaster, and one representative for the government. Observations and unstructured conversations with other youth and adults living or working in Tanzania have been important for the interpretation of the data. This study finds that there has been a massive expansion of the education system recent years, and this has lead to better accessibility but lower quality in both primary and secondary school. The focus at the moment is solely on academic learning, and the enhancement of the education sector does not include vocational or agricultural training. One of the major findings of this study is the lack of a holistic discussion about what kind of education Tanzanian children and youth needs. This thesis argues that the local community, and youth in particular should have a central place in this discussion. Another important finding is the instrumental view on education that is typical at all levels of society. Education is seen as a ticket to increased economic wealth both at individual level and in society. This thesis argues that this narrow perception of education constrains the individual’s ability to enhance its freedoms, and does not fully utilize the potential education has to create change. It has been this thesis goal to critically examine the role education is playing in the Tanzanian society today, and at the same time highlight the opportunities and potential a good education has to create development.