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An Investigation of Performance in National English Language Examinations in Tanzania: A Curriculum Processes Perspective

Gastor Mapunda,


This paper is a result of observations of teachers, employers and language researchers that many Tanzanian students who are at the ordinary level of secondary education have not been doing well in their national English language examinations. The results became worse in the 2012 examinations. The current study focused on curricula processes, namely syllabus preparation, teacher preparedness for handling syllabus demands, examination processes, and how all these are coordinated. Using semi-structured interview, questionnaire, and documentary review methods, the findings reveal that there are inefficiencies when it comes to engaging some important stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and learners. Additionally, the consulted teachers suggested that there is a general unawareness among teachers of the pedagogical demands of the 2005 syllabus in the classroom, and that there is a general deficiency in the number of good quality well-prepared teachers of English. The functions of curriculum developers, teachers and the national examinations council are barely coordinated. The paper recommends that there be established an oversight unit in the Ministry responsible for education to coordinate the functions of these actors.


examinations, English language, performance, secondary education, Tanzania

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