Narratives in School History Textbooks: An East African Perspective
This study conducts an in-depth analysis of the content in school history textbooks from East Africa, assessing the potential impact on socio-political stability in the region. Citing relevant research on multiperspectivity, the authors recognize the significant role power dynamics play in shaping historical narratives, suggesting that colonial structures and the dominance of majority groups continue to infl uence these dynamics. The paper provides a historical context by reviewing the educational systems in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It particularly notes the challenges faced by the Muslim minority group, who often study in public schools managed by Christian entities or the government. These institutions predominantly use secular history textbooks, potentially biasing the learning experience. The researchers employed content analysis to qualitatively evaluate the data in these textbooks. The results indicated a biased presentation of historical events, overemphasizing the colonial and post-colonial periods while underrepresenting the influence of Islam in East Africa. The authors argue that this selective approach to history education might intensify existing socio-political tensions in the region. They advocate for a more balanced and inclusive representation of historical events in educational materials to foster a more equitable learning environment.