Factors Affecting Studentsâ€™ Enrolment and Dropout at The Open University of Tanzania, Lindi Region
AbstractFactors affecting student enrolment and dropout were identified at OUT Lindi Region with strategies for increasing enrolment while reducing dropout. Quantitative and qualitative methods that involved documentary survey, questionnaires and interviews were used to collect the data. The data were analyzed by Statistix (Version 7.0) Computer programme package (2000), Analytical Software SPSS Version 16 and Microsoft Office Excel (2007). The results indicated that 5% of the students enrolled were residents of Lindi Region and the rest (95%) were from other regions. From the total number of 529 students enrolled for the period of 17 years, 79% were male and 21% female. Out of the 53 students who graduated, 72% were male and 28% female. The overall findings revealed that as the studentsâ€™ enrolment increased, the dropout also increased. Identified dropout problems were related to social, personal, financial, academic, students support services and cultural factors. It is recommended that raising awareness to the Lindi residents about valuing education can be done in schools, Teacher Resource Centers, religious groups and other groups or meetings. Other strategies that can be used include fliers to enhance the awareness and advertisements through television, newspapers, and radio. Face to face sessions should be strengthened, and ODL students to be encouraged to seek help for their personal, social and academic problems from University and student counselors. In addition, the University should regularly review curricula and study materials; have well equipped mini-computer labs and mini-libraries in all OUT centers. OUT should upgrade to College level, the Regional centres and decentralize them to District levels with the help from the Government. Females need to be sensitized and encouraged to study at OUT. OUT should use the proposed operation model in its activities
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