Challenges facing teachers in Tanzania: the implementation of the paradigm shift towards a competence-based curriculum in ordinary level secondary schools in Iringa municipality


This study assesses the challenges facing teachers in the implementation of the paradigm shift towards a competence-based curriculum in public secondary schools in Iringa municipality. The study was guided by three research objectives, namely: to investigate the teachers’ understanding about the paradigm shift towards a competence-based curriculum in secondary schools; to find out the importance of the competence-based curriculum in the students’ academic performance; and to examine the challenges facing teachers in the implementation of a competence-based curriculum in public secondary schools. The study adopted case study design, whereby three public secondary schools were selected.  The study involved 39 respondents, namely 24 students, 3 school heads, and 12 teachers. The study employed mainly qualitative research approach. Data was collected through interviews and focus group discussions and was analyzed through content analysis in the light of the research objectives. The findings have revealed that teachers were aware of the paradigm shift towards a competence-based curriculum; however, most of them seem not to implement it due to various factors, including: lack of teaching and learning materials, and poor or low level of language proficiency on the part of some teachers and most students. It was also found out that most teachers were not provided with in-service training as a strategy to improve their teaching-learning situation; as a result, old approaches or traditional-learning-methods were still used by most teachers. The study recommends that regular in-service training for teachers be conducted and adequate teaching and learning materials be provided, so as to enable the implementation of the competence-based curriculum.


education system; content-based curriculum; competence-based curriculum; Iringa

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