Investigating the impact of SESEMAT program on teaching of biology at o-level in Uganda: a case of two secondary schools in Arua district

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Angelina Bijura

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas Bakuza


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


SESEMAT is an in-service training program for teachers of science and mathematics in secondary schools in Uganda. It was introduced following the persistent poor performance of learners in the science and mathematics subjects in national examinations in the last two decades. Poor teaching methodologies were identified as one of the contributing factors leading to the poor performance. Therefore, the main objective of the program is to build the capacity of science (biology) and mathematics teachers so as to improve the teaching and learning of these subjects thereby resulting in an improved performance of learners in national examinations managed by Uganda national Examinations Board (UNEB).The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of SESEMAT program on teaching of biology at ordinary level in Arua district, Uganda. Semi structured interview, observation and document analysis guides were used to collect data. Ten teachers participated in the study, eight of them were biology teachers, and the other two were teachers assigned with the responsibility of coordinating academic activities in the school, also referred to as directors of studies. All the participants were drawn in equal numbers from two secondary schools, one in the municipal council (urban) and the other in the main district (rural). The recorded audio files of the interviews were transcribed, coded, and themes were developed which constituted the findings which were then analyzed qualitatively. The findings seemed to suggest that biology teachers are enthusiastic and hold positive attitudes towards SESEMAT program and use of ALEI lesson plan strategy because it has enhanced their teaching abilities in classroom delivery of lessons. Further, document analysis has revealed that there is a slight improvement in learners’ performance. However, it was found that most biology teachers use the teaching method rarely. They used ALEI lesson plans only during scheduled lesson observation times while the rest of the lessons are taught using the traditional teacher centered approach. Biology teachers need to use the ALEI lesson plan principles regularly for teaching all biology lessons. There is need to review the biology curriculum in order to make it less bulky. Further research is recommended for investigating the impact of SESEMAT program on a wider scale to cover the whole region if not the country.

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