Determinants of Parents’ Satisfaction with the Quality of Pre-Primary Education in Ilala District, Dar Es Salaam Region, Tanzania
Globally, studies have shown that the demand for pre-primary education is increasing. In cognizance of the increasing demand and importance of pre-primary education quality, researchers and professionals provided a definition and developed standards of pre-primary education quality. However, parents as key stakeholders in pre-primary education, their voices are usually unheard in these deliberations and processes. Since parents create an ongoing demand for pre-primary education how they perceive the quality of pre-primary education is imperative. Besides, studies done in Tanzania show that the structural and process quality of pre-primary schools is not compatible with the increasing demand of pre-primary education. Despite poor provision of pre-primary education parents are still enrolling their children in these schools. It was not known whether they were satisfied with pre-primary education. This study intended to investigate parents‟ satisfaction with the quality of pre-primary education in Ilala district, Dar es Salaam Region, Tanzania. The study also explored factors influencing parents‟ satisfaction with the quality of pre-primary education. The study adopted the Ecological Systems Theory in the theoretical framework. The dependent variable was parents‟ satisfaction with the quality of pre-primary education. The independent variables included parents‟ perception of the quality of pre-primary education, parents‟ demographic characteristics (gender, education level) and type of school. The study employed descriptive survey research design. A stratified random sample of 829 parents with children aged 5 to 6 years from 34 pre-primary schools was used. Data was collected using a four point Likert scale questionnaire. Prior to data collection, the instrument was pilot-tested in two pre-primary schools in order to ensure validity and reliability. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used during data analysis. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed. The independent samples t-test was used to test Ho1 and Ho2. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test Ho3. The bivariate correlation analysis and regression analysis were used to test Ho4. The level of significance tested for each hypothesis was .05. Findings revealed that parents believed that their children’s pre-primary schools were of high quality, specifically in process indicators than in the structural category. As a result, they were more satisfied with process quality than structural quality of pre-primary education. Results also indicated that parents‟ gender, education level and type of school significantly influenced their satisfaction with the quality of pre-primary education. Parents who were females, more educated and had children in private pre-primary schools were found to be more satisfied with the quality of pre-primary education. The study also revealed a positive and significant relationship between parents‟ perception of quality and satisfaction with pre-primary education. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training should take appropriate measures to improve pre-primary education and allocate resources to meet parents' demands. Moreover, school heads and managers should strengthen parent-teacher partnerships.