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Science education in Tanzania: Challenges and policy responses

Students in rural and urban areas in Tanzania, and elsewhere in Africa, continue to have limited or lack access to culturally and employment-relevant science education. The current case study, a 2007–2009 examination of barriers to the reform movement of science education in Tanzania, uses data from interviews, classroom observations, document analysis, and a survey questionnaire. Areas of interest included overcrowding, lack of textbooks, a general low or inadequate access to education, irrelevant curricula, poor learning outcomes, and weak links to general employment options.

The study discusses these barriers and their influence in thwarting implementation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Tanzania. The totality of data constitutes a case study that results in proposing an instructional model called iSPACES (which stands for Innovation, Science, Practicals, Application, Conceptualization, Entrepreneurship and Systems), that encompasses core principles of science, systems thinking, and entrepreneurship.