The Inter-Country Quality Node on Mathematics and Science Education (ICQN-MSE) formerly the Working Group on Mathematics and Science Education (WGMSE, 2004-2017) was created in May 2014 when the 40th ADEA Steering Committee Meeting held in Tunis approved the conversion. The ICQN-MSE focuses on developing and promoting African-led education platform to advance policies and practices for mathematics, science and ICT integration in education for Africa’s sustainable development.
The leader of the ICQN-MSE is the Minister of Education, Kenya. The secretariat is hosted at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) in Nairobi-Kenya. The coordinator of the ICQN-MSE is a staff based at CEMASTEA and the centre provides staff and facilities to implement annual activities. Japan International Cooperation Agency was the main Development Partner of the ICQN-MSE from 2004 - 2017. Currently, the ICQN-MSE is in the process of seeking new partnerships to support its regional activities.
The ICQN-MSE as an ADEA unit seeks to attain the overall strategic objectives as enumerated in the ADEA strategic plan (2018-2022) with a specific focus on mathematics and science education. STEM education as an important dimension of mathematics and science education will be given priority in the strategic period to ensure countries are adequately sensitized to adopt relevant policies and practices. In line with Agenda 2063 and the Continental, Education Strategy for Africa’s (CESA, 2016-2025) strategic objective seven a prosperous Africa is underpinned by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) equipped workforce. The aim is to strengthen mathematics and science curriculum implementation as foundational subjects to STEM education.
The Africa we want guided by Agenda 2063 is a continental dream (AUC, 2015) realizable through concerted efforts by all actors especially through human resource capacity development. STEM enabled workforce play a central role in socio-economic development of countries globally for sustainable development. As a continent, Africa is faced with many developmental challenges such as poverty, poor health, food insecurity, techno-consumer and inadequate innovation or creativity to transform raw material to products fit for international market. These challenges are traceable to our low investment in science, technology and innovation coupled with a short-term view of human development. Horace Mann (1848) said, “education is the greatest equalizer of the conditions of men”. It is therefore practical to state that STEM-enabled workforce will transform Africa beyond policy articulation. The countries needs to implement curriculum reforms and create requisite capacities at national and institutional levels that resonate with the 21st century skill requirements. Competencies such as collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, innovation and effective communication are priority to socio-economic development of the continent.
The Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA, 2016-2025) is the AUC’s revolutionary approach for implementing global UN Sustainable Development Goal four (SDG 4) on education, (AUC, 2015). The strategic objective seven aims at strengthening mathematics and science curricula in training youth, disseminating scientific knowledge and culture in society, for sustainable development. The teacher is fundamental in cultivating this dream and especially in ensuring policy intentions are realized in practice. Africa has the lowest enrolment in STEM education, this state of affairs is further compounded by inadequate or unqualified mathematics and science teachers with the average supply of especially secondary and higher education levels being half of the demand. Investment in lifelong teacher professional development ought to be one of the priority programs of the ministries of education because in pre-service they are introduced to the theory of teaching while in-service teacher training they engage in practical solutions to effective teaching. In most African countries, teaching and learning practices are prevalently teacher-centred with little innovation and textbook dependence. These approaches fail to accord learners an opportunity to the practical nature of mathematics and science.
The continent, therefore, needs to break the cycle of relying on poorly trained teachers with academically weak entry requirements in mathematics and science, inadequate exposure to subject content, poorly planned and poorly funded professional development programmes to prepare its future scientist, technologists and innovators and subsequent mathematics and science teachers. The East Asian Tigers namely; Singapore and South Korea strategically invested in STEM-enabled workforce thereby transforming themselves to highly developed nations. The teaching profession in these countries attracts the top one-third of secondary school graduating class; provide rigorous pre-service training and entitle every teacher to 100hours of professional development annually with exposure to cutting edge knowledge and skills.
The ICQN-MSE, therefore, promotes best practice in STEM education capitalizing on gains made under the WGMSE (2004 - 2014) which propagated learner-centered teaching and learning to quality mathematics and science education. UNESCO (2017) report indicated enrolment in STEM-based careers in Africa is less than 25% across gender. This is partly attributed to the teaching approaches which fail to make science more interesting and attractive. There is a need for countries to adopt a more activity-oriented hands-on approach to teaching and learning rather than examination-oriented practices that encourage rote memorisation. STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching that motivates learners to apply lessons learnt in solving real-life problems. Teaching practices that include real-life scenarios requiring learners to think and apply scientific knowledge to solve are a priority in the 21st century.
In an endeavour to realize its objectives, the ICQN-MSE works in partnership with various organizations, countries and development partners both at national and international levels.
ADEA will contribute to empowering African countries to develop education and training systems that respond to emergent needs and drive Africa’s sustainable socio-economic transformation. ADEA is driven by two continental and country-based strategic pillars aligned to the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (2016 – 2025) and global sustainable Goals. The ICQN-MSE as an ADEA unit seeks to attain the overall Strategic objectives (ADEA, 2018 - 2022) with a specific focus on mathematics and science education, ICT integration in teaching and learning. The ICQN-MSE strategic objectives, strategies and activities are discussed in subsequent sections.
Specifically, the ICQN-MSE seeks to:
- Promote African-led mathematics and science education platform to advance the adoption of policies and practices including ICT integration in education
- Foster regional cooperation in the utilization of interventions and practices to strengthen individual, institutional, and societal capacities to advance STEM education
- Leverage on diverse sustainable partner network for STEM education to promote exchange and knowledge sharing among educators in Africa
ICQN-MSE Publication & Documents
- Click here for About Us - ICQN-MSE
- Click here for the Concept paper on ICQN-MSE
- Click here for the ICQN-MSE Integrated Work Plan and Budget for 2015
- Click here for the ICQN-MSE Newsletter, July - December, 2014
- Click here for the ICQN-MSE Achievements During The 2008-2012 Strategic Medium Term Period
- Click here for the ICQN-MSE 2012 Integrated Report of Activities
How to contact the ICQN-MSE
Hon. Prof. George Albert Omore Magoha, CBS, MBS, EBS
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education,
Jogoo House ‘B’; Haraambe Avenue,
P.O Box 30040-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
ICQN Focal Point Officer, Ministry of Education (MOE)
Dr. Sylvester Ohene Mulambe
Director, Policy, Partnerships and East African Affairs
Ministry of Education
CEMASTEA - Host Institution
Mrs. Jacinta L. Akatsa, HSC
Director, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA)
P.O Box 24214-00502, Nairobi- Kenya
Tel: +254-202633591 / +254-706722697 / +254-789797648
Mrs. Mary Wakhaya Sichangi
Coordinator, Partnerships and Linkages
Centre for Mathematics, Sciences and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA)
P.O Box 24214-00502, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 780 797 648
Mobile: +254 721 239 779
Office Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Email: email@example.com