The exploration of the implementation of competence based curriculum in the chemistry classroom: A case study of public secondary school in Morogoro Municipality

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoff Tenant


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Curriculum reforms in any country play a crucial role in bringing about meaningful learning and thus transforming the social and economic standards of that country. The change of Education policy in Tanzania from content based curriculum to competence based curriculum in 2005 aimed at transforming the graduates from knowledge acquisition to skills application so that they could be more effective in transforming their country. This study therefore, sought to investigate how competence based curriculum is implemented in chemistry classroom, in a public secondary school in Morogoro municipality. The study employed a qualitative approach, and tools used for data collection methods were interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. The research participants were five chemistry teachers and a school head. The study found out that CBC is being executed in the public secondary school. However the study revealed that the implementation of CBC is not so effective as it had been intended because chemistry teachers had not been familiarized with CBC since its adoption. They had low understanding of the concept of CBC and therefore failed to practice it due to lack of knowledge and poor supportive teaching and learning environment. Teachers found executing CBC synonymous with traditional methods like lecturing, demonstration and teacher’s talk and chalk dominated. This approach is influenced by traditional assessment style which put emphasis on student’s ability to memorize chemistry concepts and reproduce them during examination, regardless of the applicability of the learnt skills in real life. The study also found that poor chemistry teachers’ knowledge on CBC was caused by multiplicity of factors like lack of pre-service and in-service training, language of instruction used, overcrowded classes, inappropriate teaching and learning resources including textbooks, lack of laboratories, lack of laboratory technicians, chemicals and equipments. The findings revealed that most of Tanzania secondary school lack well equipped chemistry laboratories. Even those few schools have them, their students rarely engage in real practical activities during normal teaching and learning apart from preparatory sessions during examinations periods; something which compromises the development of student’s creativity, practical skills and competencies. iv The report therefore, recommends that MoEVT should organize in-service training for teachers on the how implement CBC in the chemistry classroom so that teachers are familiarized with it and so be able to execute it effectively in the chemistry classrooms. During the in-services workshop teachers should be trained on how to make their students think critically, discover concepts through trial and errors, and solve their own problems scientifically when doing chemistry practical or interacting together in group discussions. Moreover, team teaching and theme teaching strategies should be encouraged as a way forward towards overcoming individual teacher’s weakness in content preparation and delivery

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