Competence-Based Curriculum In Sub-Saharan Africa - Research co-authored by Theophile NSENGIMANA


Though the Competence-Based Curriculum has been introduced in different Sub- Saharan African countries to enhance the quality of education, there is inadequate implementation of science competence-based curriculum which results from traditional ways of teaching and learning. Such practices were associated with factors related to school capacity to innovate and others from outside schools.

The findings have been discussed in the research paper ‘’Reflection on science competence-based curriculum implementation in Sub-Saharan African countries’’ by Theophile Nsengimana, Leon Rugema Mugabo, Ozawa Hiroaki and Phenias Nkundabakura, published on 21 June 2020 in the International Journal of Science Education Engagement, Part B : Communication and Public engagement.

Mr.Theophile NSENGIMANA, Lecturer at UR-College of Education

Theophile Nsengimana is currently a PhD student in Science Education ; and lecturer at the University of Rwanda’s College of Education. He has a wide educational and research experience. His research interest is Mathematics and Science Education specifically, science curriculum implementation.

The study investigates how science Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), as well as learner-centred curriculum or pedagogy, was implemented at secondary school level in some Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. It also explores some challenges associated with their implementation and gives insights into appropriate implementation strategies for the realization of national socio-economic development goals.Concerning the research question, NSENGIMANA underlined that they wanted to know lessons the SSA countries that are planning to adopt a CBC can learn from those which have already implemented CBC as well as those which have implemented a learner-centred pedagogy.

The researchers’ motivation to undertake the study, as Nsengimana explained, pertains to the fact that SSA countries have socio-economic as well as environmental similarities. “The countries of that region committed to achieving SDGs as the current concern and some of them have acknowledged the important role played by curriculum in that journey and therefore school curricula have been revised to equip citizens with capabilities needed for socio-economic development,” he emphasized.

As the recommendations, the SSA governments were advised to adjust policies by looking at how the implementation could take place, considering realities in their contexts instead of adopting new ideas and not giving more attention to their enactment at school level. The governments should also strengthen teacher education, both pre and in-service.

According to the authors, this could be done through establishment of special ‘laboratory’ schools and or science education centres as well as school-based communities of practice to nurture contemporary teaching methods and enhance knowledge and skills of prospective teachers and teachers.” We do hope and believe that if all of these are done, trainees and trainers will be competent and therefore contribute to individual as well as national socio-economic growth, Nsengimana elucidated.

Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) emphasizes creativity and application of knowledge and skills instead of acquiring and accumulating them.

For more about the research click here

Story by

Ntirandekura Schadrac,
In charge of Communication and Community Engagement Officer
University of Rwanda-College of Education