Harmonizing Science Education and Policy Across East Africa

Supporting Regional Integration in East Africa

How might we assess the similarities and address the differences in math and science education across East Africa?

Problem

Competition for natural resources, trade, and skilled labor is on the rise across Africa.  Countries increasingly are looking to regional partnerships as a way forward in this competitive environment. The East Africa Community (EAC) – comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda – is leading this charge.  But for regional integration to be a success, changes are needed.  The EAC Treaty identified harmonizing secondary math and science education as a priority issue, two areas believed to be a vital starting point for a cascade of reforms needed to meet the regional demand for technically trained, skilled labor.

Solution

The EAC partnered with the World Bank to assess opportunities to improve secondary math and science education across the region. In support of this effort, the World Bank tapped GKI to spearhead a multi-phase research and workshop design process. GKI conducted a five-country study of secondary math and science education in 2011.  The study highlighted regional best practices, harmonization opportunities, and likely roadblocks to avoid.  GKI recorded hundreds of unique insights from more than 120 education stakeholders.  These individuals hailed from private sector, government, and schools. A GKI-facilitated workshop convened a select group of study participants to prepare policy recommendations based on the study findings. The process culminated in a meeting of EAC Ministers of Education in Arusha, Tanzania, who received the group’s policy recommendations.

Results / Outcomes

  • Secondary math and science education reviewed in 5 countries
  • Over 600 unique findings reported, some not documented until this report
  • More than 120 stakeholders engaged in the study
  • Insights organized along 5 pillars of opportunity: Policy and governance; Curricular content; Teaching and learning resources; Teacher training, Professional development, and pedagogy; Evaluation of learning outcomes
  • 20 key trends in secondary math and science education
  • Three-day stakeholder dialogue to review study findings and offer policy recommendations to EAC Ministers of Education