Towards a Harmonized Curriculum in East Africa: A Comparative Perspective of the Intended Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda
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This chapter presents the results and insights gained from a comparative analysis of the national secondary school mathematics syllabuses of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Whilst considerable commonalities were found, it was particularly Rwanda, with a different colonial past, which was found to have a more formal curriculum, exemplified in the lack of mention of measurement below the fourth year of primary school and the absence of approximation as a topic. Differences in sequencing topics were found, e.g. Uganda and Rwanda introduce number sequences in year 4 as a means of contextualizing algebra, Tanzania and Kenya introduce them in year 10 somewhat more formally. The continuance of calculations in shillings and cents in Tanzania and Kenya, and the use of logarithms as a calculation tool in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya can be taken as evidence of a mismatch between what happens in school and the outside world. Differences are acknowledged between the stated curriculum on the one hand, and what gets taught by teachers and indeed learnt by children on the other. Whilst considerable work has been undertaken already to update the curricula in different ways, further work is required to ensure that the syllabus across the region is fit for purpose for the 21st century, not least in engaging all learners in this important subject.