Date of Conferral







John Harrison


Tanzania, similar to other nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, has been experiencing a severe teacher shortage. The problem that was addressed is that factors influencing rural primary school teachers’ decision to continue teaching in Northeast Tanzania are unknown. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions on teaching in rural primary schools in Northeast Tanzania and the reasons why they remain. This study was guided by self-efficacy theory, a subset of Bandura's social cognitive theory. This descriptive qualitative study explored how rural primary school teachers in northeast Tanzania describe the challenges that cause them to consider abandoning their professions, the influences that cause them to remain, and the role that teacher self-efficacy plays in influencing the retention of those teachers. Eleven teachers who taught in rural primary schools in Northeast Tanzania were interviewed in semi-structured interviews. Four themes were identified in the data using thematic analysis and inductive coding that included (a) overcrowded classrooms cause heavy workloads, (b) student absenteeism and a shortage of school supplies, (c) the importance of seeing students succeed, and (d) the importance of internal rewards. This study may facilitate positive social change by informing policymakers about a teacher retention model that may be utilized as a guide for teacher retention in rural primary schools. The findings indicate that retention could be improved by providing teachers with the necessary support, incentives, and resources to assist them to fulfill their obligations.