Teaching and learning of mathematics in Tanzania: The case of technical colleges

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated the teaching and learning of Mathematics in technical colleges and how the teaching methods could be used to improve performance of students in Mathematics. The specific variables under study included: teaching materials particularly Mathematics textbooks; instructional language (English); and staff development programmes for Mathematics teachers. This study involved 23 teachers and 230 students. The study covered three technical colleges of Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mbeya. Questionnaires, checklists, documentary review and Mathematics achievement test constituted the techniques of data collection. Using SPSS and descriptions did the analysis of data. It was revealed that: technical colleges’ manpower is good academic qualification since the colleges are staffed predominantly by bachelor and master degree holders. However, the methods of teaching Mathematics were found not be good. Shortage of Mathematics textbooks was prevailing making the teachers’ work and students’ learning difficult. The study also revealed that the majority of the students do not understand English, which is the medium of instruction. The study eventually recommends that in-service courses and seminars or workshops on methods of teaching be held for in-service teachers. As regards the shortage Mathematics textbooks, it is recommended that provision of Mathematics textbooks by the MSTHE should consider the number of students and teachers a particular college has, and that MAT should prepare Mathematics textbooks. Providing in-service courses, seminars or workshops on methods of teaching to the teachers who are in the field would alleviate the problems. It is further recommended that English teachers should emphasize mastery and proper use of English in various subjects’ areas including Mathematics. The recommendations of this study are that unless some corrective measures are taken to improve the teaching and learning environments, poor performance will persist. Among corrective measures suggested are reviewing the syllabus to suit Technical subjects’ requirements.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF LB2365.M3T34M34)
Teaching mathematics, Education practice, Higher education, Techinical schools, Tanzania
Mahallah, E. R (2001) Teaching and learning of mathematics in Tanzania: The case of technical colleges, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.