Life Mathematics

Education to Enhance Community Development 

Problems to address

Education in school is not always (badly) connected to community life. Education seldom uses examples from the local community, also the experiences from the community members are seldom used in education (even looked down upon). That makes it difficult for students and community members to connect their own life to the education in school. It makes it difficult to develop the communities by using the knowledge from the education in school. The local culture/ heritage is changing fast, often without the control of the local community.


Community members have tools to choose their own way/alternative way of living and that will contribute to improved living conditions.


  • Closer connection between community life and education, using the experiences and knowledge from the local community in the formal education in schools.
  • Bring local communities and local education together with the outside world of universities, museums and other stakeholders to use each other’s experiences and knowledge in improving local education/ community life
  • Improve education in mathematic towards more of life mathematics and in heritage/ history, using more of the local heritage/history, if possible inside the curriculum.
  • Recording and preserving the disappearing cultural heritage and develop what is needed for future generations. 

First Pilot Site in Kenya, Ngurunit in Marsabit and Samburu districts

 Second Workshop in Ngurunit, 11 February 2012

The workshop gathered 120 persons from the community: elders, herdsmen, women groups, teachers, young people etc. Together the participants made a map of the community with important features and sites: rivers, mountains, water holes, manyattas, shops, remains of iron kilns, caves etc. For each of the sites the stories will be collected. This will be of use in the education in the local schools. 

Five representatives from universities and museums in Nairobi and Kalmar, mathematicians and historians, contributed with their knowledge. The mathematicians mentioned how the everyday life in the community is connected to informal knowledge in Mathematics by the local people. 

Coordinator in the project in the community is BANK, Bridging Ages Northern Kenya, under the lead of Steven Labarakwe. BANK has a plan to organize the Bridging Ages International Conference in Ngurunit 2014.

First Workshop in Ngurunit, 30 April 2011In April-May 2011 a workshop on Heritage and Mathematic Education was held in Ngurunit, Kenya by Linnaeus University and Kalmar County Museum, Sweden together with the local community and National Museums of Kenya. 

Below you can see pictures from the workshops. 

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