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Mathematics for sustainability.



Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe”, is a quote by Galileo Galilei in the 17th century. In the centuries that followed, humanities have seen a tremendous scientific development, leading to the industrial revolution, and more recently the digital revolution. During this development mathematics has evolved and confirmed its role as the language of the sciences.

In a progress report on UN’s 2030 agenda UN states that, among others, there is a need to harness science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on sustainable development. To achieve this the need for mathematical literacy becomes even more important, this is also mentioned explicitly in SDG 4.

In 2015, UN estimated that more than half a billion children in schools were not achieving wanted proficiency in reading and mathematics. The problem being most profound in developing countries, and these countries have maybe the largest challenges. Globally there has been little progress in the percentage of primary school teachers who are trained, around 64 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

This project is funded by the NORHED II program for the period 2021-2026, and is a collaboration between the Departments of Mathematics, Mathematics Education at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Makerere University and the University of Bergen. The overall aim is to increase the mathematical literacy in Tanzania and Uganda. Three outcomes are defined:

  • Better mathematical research at the two African universities,
  • updated and relevant educational programs in mathematics and mathematical education, and
  • higher visibility of the departments.

The project will execute a research program, in collaboration with colleagues within health and medical institutions in the three countries. A cohort of 11 PhD students will be recruited and this research will make also assist in renewing the educational programs/curricula, increase the visibility of the departments, and increase the academic staffs ability to attract and execute future projects, beyond health topics.