Tutors’ Experiences of Sex and Relationships Education in Tanzania
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English abstract: Integration of SRE in schools curricula has been received with mixed feeling by stakeholders including teachers. This has led to poor implementations of SRE in educational institutions. The overall aim of this study was to explore experiences of teacher educators (tutors) of sex and relationships education (SRE) in Tanzania. To achieve this aim, three research questions guided this study. The first question intended to explore how tutors understand the meaning and goals of SRE in teacher education. The second question focused on understanding how tutors perceive the integration of SRE into teacher education and how tutors convey and communicate sex and relationships knowledge to teacher-students1. The third research question was seeking to explore how tutors integrate SRE components into the subject content and the methods, which they employ in delivering it to the teacher-students in actual classroom practice in teachers‟ colleges. This was a qualitative study, adopting phenomenographic approach as a point of departure. Semi-structured interview was the main method for collecting empirical data from the participants. Purposive sampling was used to obtain a sample of eight tutors with 3-25 years of experience from three teachers‟ colleges in the northern part of Tanzania. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, analysed and interpreted. The findings indicated that; tutors expressed variations in their perceptions of the meaning and goals of SRE. Most of the tutors focused on the biological aspects of SRE. Also, the participants were unaware of the 2004 policy issued by the government to guide provision of SRE in educational institutions. Their perceptions on how SRE is integrated in teacher education curriculum varied between tutors teaching social science and natural science subjects. Furthermore, the provision of SRE in teachers‟ colleges face a number of barriers, some of which include policy related challenges and challenges related to low status of the subject. In light of the findings of this study, the researcher has recommended the current SRE policy is revised and adjusted to include more SRE components, and in addition to introduce SRE as an independent subject in teachers‟ colleges. Besides SRE being a part of teacher education at the university level, tutors in teachers‟ colleges should be provided with SRE knowledge through in-service seminars and workshops. This will help to build up the tutors‟ capacities to deliver SRE to teacher students effectively. Findings of this study can be used for improving the provision of SRE in teachers colleges in Tanzania.