Main Article Content
Student leadership refers to education principles and practices that give young people the opportunities and support to find their voices, to participate in decision-making, understand their rights, and responsibilities as active citizens. The study used a descriptive survey to understand the role and challenges of students’ leadership in secondary schools in Tanzania. There were a total of 94 participants, amongst these, 70 students’ leaders, 6 discipline heads and 18 ordinary teachers were obtained from 6 public and private schools in Arusha Region using purposive and stratified sampling technique. Students and teachers filled out questionnaires and discipline heads were involved in the interviews. The results show that Head boys, Head girls and Secretary General were the top positions of the students’ government. Results also reveal that good discipline, confidence and academic competence were the main qualities that teachers used to select a student to be a leader. The results therefore show that missing lessons while attending student matters, failure to complete class assignments on time, lack of enough time to engage in private studies, fear to report on teachers who miss classes/come to class late and lack of leadership training were the challenges that student leaders faced as while performing their duties. Conversely, no significant difference was found in students’ leadership role and academic performance in the classroom. The study finally concludes that training for student leaders is vital so as to allow them to perform their duties diligently, since the future leaders of our society are the current leaders in schools.