PERCEPTIONS OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH MEMBERS TOWARDS ADVENTIST PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN EASTERN TANZANIA CONFERENCE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT
Magere, Devotha Dionizi
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Despite the numerical growth of Seventh-day Adventist church membership in the Eastern Tanzania Conference, for the past ten years of existence of Adventist primary schools, there has not been a corresponding increase in enrolment of Adventist pupils in these schools. This study was conducted in order to study the perceptions of church members towards the Adventist primary schools in the territory in order to determine whether it has any implications for enrollment. The study was both qualitative and quantitative in nature and used a descriptive research approach with a cross-sectional design. Both primary and secondary data were collected from a sample of 400 randomly selected church members out of a population of 53,790. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), followed by Post hoc tests, was also employed to determine if there is significant difference between the attitudes of church members with and those without children in Adventist primary schools. The reasons mentioned by the respondents for not sending their children to Adventist primary schools include high school fees, poor academic performance, school location, lack of awareness of Adventist education, lack of promotion strategies and poor school administration. However, Adventist schools in ETC are perceived to have strengths, which include spiritual emphasis, provision of wholistic education and quality education, nutritious food, teaching of good morals and self confident pupils. It is concluded that Adventist primary schools in ETC are both positively and negatively perceived which has positive and negative implications on enrolment. In order to increase enrolment in the schools, it is recommended that the schools have to address the things which have been identified to have effect on enrolment and retention of pupils.