STIGMATIZATION AMONG FEMALE STUDENTS IN NATURAL SCIENCE RELATED COURSES: A CASE OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINING INSTITUTIONS IN TANZANIA

Pelagia A Mutarubukwa, Mzomwe Y Mazana

Abstract


Stigmatization in science courses in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions affects female student’s performance and can lead to severe consequences such as poor academic performance, enxiety, depression, truancy just to mention a few. However, in spite of numerous research on stigmatization of girls in education, there is relatively little research done on the nature of stigmatization among the female students, their ability to cope and coping strategies. The objective of the paper is to explore the nature of stigma experienced by female students and determine the coping strategies for the same.The study employed a qualitative strategy, drawing from 20 female students in-depth interviews from three TVETs. The study reveals that female students are stigmatised in the following ways; discrimination and use of abusive language by both male lecturers and male students or colleaques, female negative attitude towards science subjects, sexually,stereotyping and institutionally through rigid timetables and infrustructure. It was found that, the majority of the interviewees were capable of coping with the situation and the following were their strategies; developing confidence, working hard, cooperating with boys who are ready, seeking counselling services, find information through the internet, share the problem with family members, drop out from the stigmatizing institutions or transfer to another colleges. These coping stratergies were found to bring positive results for those students who adopted them, in this case students facing stigma related challenges can make use of these stratergies for increasing and sustaining the number of girls in science related courses.

Keywords


Stigma, stigmatization, female students, Science related TVET

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