Background Information

Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education in Africa (SMASE Africa) is a Pan-African Organization that brings together African countries. It is registered in Kenya under the Societies Act CAP 108 of the Laws of Kenya.  The regional secretariat and headquarters are located in the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA). The office is located inside Kenya Science campus of the University of Nairobi, House No. 47 along Ngong Road. The network was started by African countries looking for interventions to mitigate against low learner achievement in mathematics and science subjects.  The low learner achievement in science and mathematics in Kenya was being addressed by the government through the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) Project under the sponsorship of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The initial successes of the SMASSE project Kenya, including the potential to positively impact on teacher classroom practices were shared in 2001 at a conference with eleven African countries namely: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Japan. From the conference it was noted that challenges experienced within these countries were similar; mainly predominant teacher centered practices, ineffective teaching methodologies, lack of planning, inadequate teaching and learning resources, general lack of teacher innovativeness and few opportunities for continuous professional development for teachers. It became apparent that there was a need to create a network for sharing best practices in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science in Africa. 

One of the outcomes of this conference was the formation of the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SMASSE ECSA). The name was later changed to Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education in Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SMASE WECSA) to accommodate countries in the western region of Africa. The main aim was to create synergy in promoting dialogue, sharing collective learning and collaborative action. Member countries were able to promote best classroom practices in enhancing the quality of mathematics and science education, developing teacher professional capabilities and collaboratively learn from each other’s experiences.

In the year 2006, the network expanded its membership to 27 countries and the name was changed to Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education in Africa (SMASE Africa) to accommodate the primary level. In 2012, African Union Commission (AUC) recommended the inclusion of all African countries and thereby endorsing the name SMASE Africa.

Activities and Achievements of the Network

The organization provides a networking platform for promoting teacher professional development for its members in mathematics and science education. Its activities include; annual regional conferences, technical workshops and exchange visits plus training programmes. Since inception, 15 regional conferences and 3 technical workshops have been held.  Over 1,700 educators from African countries have benefited from the training programmes since 2004. 

Two main outputs have been, advocating for establishment of INSET systems in respective countries as well as implementation of activities that enhance classroom practices in member countries. This is based on the fact that factors leading to poor learner achievement across the continent are similar, save for some contextual realities.  The hallmark of training programmes are the principles of Activities, Students, Experiment, and Improvisation through Plan, Do, See, and Improve (ASEI-PDSI) that forms the rallying call for educators to rethink their practice with a view to enhance learner involvement

In celebrating over a decade of our existence, we wish to extend our gratitude to founding fathers of the network who include; Late Mr. Takahiko Sugiyama (Japan), Professor Shigekazu Takemura (Japan), Mr. Bernard Njuguna (Kenya); Mr Edward Tindi (Zambia); Dr. Stephen Mahere (Zimbabwe), Mr. Christopher Chiota (Uganda), Mr. Adama Faye (Senegal) and Prof. Sarifa M. A. Fagilde (Mozambique). It was their visionary leadership that saw the Network attain such acclaim both in Africa and Globally.   Gratitude also goes to the  Government of  Japan  through JICA for championing the SMASE Africa cause through  the   3rd  and   4th Tokyo   International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD III & IV)  and  Government  of  Kenya  for  hosting  the SMASE Africa Secretariat.

 Much appreciation to the collaborative links with strategic institutions and organizations including the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the African Union Commission (AUC). Gratitude goes to African Governments through the Ministries in charge of Education for the commitment and support through financial and human resources to the Network. This website is meant to increase the visibility of the Network and create a new platform where members can interact and share promising classroom practices. As we forge ahead and celebrate our achievements and take stock through reflection on our successes and opportunities, I am convinced that there is a bright future for the Network.

In the year 2017, the Ministry of General Education through the National Science Centre Lusaka, Zambia implemented the School Based Continuing Professional Development through Lesson Study Programme under the auspicies of SMASE Africa. The course was implemented under JICA’s Third Country Training Program (TCTP): 2017 Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) in Zambia. The course titled: Enhancing Teacher Professional Growth through the Practice of Lesson Study .Target Participants are National Trainers, Practicing classroom teachers teaching mathematics or science at secondary and primary school level and INSET Coordinator at National levels. Participating Countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.



Our Location

Regional Secretariat

Located inside

UON - Kenya Science Campus

Ngong Road

P. O. Box 22949 - 00505



Our Partners

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