Formal education and its contributions to development among the maasai women of longido a study of Longido District, in Arusha Tanzania

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The Maasai came from the north of Africa, originating in the lower Nile Valley in Sudan, northwest of Lake Turkana. It is believed that they departed this area between the 14th and 16th centuries, migrating southwards towards the Great Rift Valley. Following independence and post-independence the Maasai faced ever increasing limitations to mobility as their lifestyle became increasingly out of context compared to a developing Tanzania. This has severely affected the development of the Maasa~. The study was guided by three main objectives which included: To identify the role that formal education could play among the Maasai, to investigate the cultural barriers to attainment of formal education among the Maasai, and to asses how formal education conflict with Maasai traditions. The study employed a Correlation research design. The sample size of 200 respondents was used which was selected with the help of purposive sampling technique. The sample size consisted of 2 district education officers, 15 secondary teachers, 13 NGO representatives, 100 Maasai girls and 70 Maasai boys in secondary schools. Questionnaire and interview guide were used as instruments of collecting data. Thematic analysis was also used to answer the research questions. Research also found out that early and forced marriage on young girls, norms and values, the lifestyles of the Maasai pastoralists moving from one place to another, still remain great barriers to Maasai women in attaining formal education. Research also found out that formal education conflicts with Maasai tradition because women have c~hanged their traditional lifestyle to modern lifestyle, has discouraged early and forced marriages, Women have become economically independent, FGM rates have been reduced. Women have as well gained respect from their community. It was concluded that formal education could help women to change and cope up with modernization in Maasai community. It was also conclUded that cultural practices still remain great barriers to Maasai women in attaining formal education in Maasai community. Finally, research recommended high community sensitization on women education, improvement of education facilities, awareness of education among students, recognition of pastoralist areas by the government, introducing affirmative and poverty reduction mechanisms to Maasai community.
A thesis presented to the school of postgraduate studies and research Kampala International University Kampala, Uganda in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award of the Degree of Master of arts in Development Studies
Formal education, Maasai women of longido, Arusha Tanzania