Meeting the in-service education and training needs of Mathematics teachers: Lessons from the SMASE programme in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Simon Karuku

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Anjum Halai


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The government of Kenya recognizes the important role mathematics should play for the country to achieve Vision 2030 of becoming a globally competitive and prosperous country. Intervention measures have been put in place to enhance teaching and learning of mathematics. At secondary school level, one such intervention is Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Education (SMASE) programme. However, several research studies carried out to assess the impact of SMASE programmne on students' performance in mathematics show that the performance is yet to improve. This study sought to investigate how mathematics teachers' INSET needs are met by SMASE district INSET programme with a view to gain more insight on how to design and implement a successful INSET programme for mathematics teachers, so that ultimately, we can enhance students' achievement in mathematics. The study was conducted in one of the 47 counties in Kenya. A mixed method approach was adopted for the study. The study participants were mathematics teachers who at the time of this study, had attended SMASE district INSET sessions as well as SMASE district INSET mathematics trainers and members of the District Planning Committee (DPC). A sample of 85 teachers, 2 trainers and 2 DPC members was purposively selected from the schools. Data were collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data were analyzed using textual analysis, while quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS. For descriptive statistics, illustrative charts were used. The study established that although SMASE INSET programme has been successful to some extent in meeting teachers' INSET needs, there are some challenges which need to be addressed for the programme to be effective in meeting teachers' INSET needs. Such challenges include lack of ownership by teachers, teachers' negative attitude toward the programme, lack of follow-up, and failure to regularly evaluate the programme to assess its effectiveness.

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