The Kenyan education system has been deteriorating slowly by slowly as time goes by yet nothing was being done about it.
It is well known that talent, passion and motivation act as key drivers to a successful career especially to the young people, but sadly, that has never been put into consideration by the Kenyan education sector. Why should a student be forced into taking subjects that will not be of help in the development of their careers? Is it so hard to implement a system that considers the strengths of students and molding them into achieving their dreams?
At least the current Cabinet Secretary of education, Fred Matiang’i has been trying to bring about some reasonable changes in that sector, which if taken serious, then the sector will transform into a better one in which students will be comfortable to study without being forced into doing things that they are not passionate about.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Education officially launched the testing program for the new education curriculum thus paving way for setting the stage for the phasing out of the 8-4-4 system by January next 2017. Enough resources are said to be in place for the whole implementation process.
The new system is divided into three segments starting with early Pre-primary One to Grade 3, Middle-School (comprising Grades 4 to 9) and Senior School (from Grade 10 to 12). The new curriculum seeks to equip learners with seven key skills; communication and collaboration; self-efficacy; critical thinking and problem-solving; creativity and imagination; citizenship; digital literacy; and learning to learn.
The program, which will involve a total of 470 schools, aims to test the possibility and validity of the planned curriculum designs, teacher preparation, and assessment models. Five pre-primary and five primary schools from each county have been picked for the pilot program.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that testing of course materials will take eight to 10 weeks and that teachers in the identified schools will be trained to enable them to implement the curriculum. One school in every county will cater to learners with special needs.
The pilot is a major step to the adaptation of the new curriculum, which seeks to radically change Kenya’s 30-year-old 8-4-4 education system.
“We want accurate responses from learners. Do not edit them, we want factual information that will help us make rational decisions,” said Dr. Matiang’i.
A report on the findings will be presented to the Cabinet and submitted to Parliament for approval before the end of the year.
Dr. Matiang’i said the review is being driven by Kenyans and no foreigners are involved.
“We have started with the training of head teachers, who are team leaders in schools so that they understand what we mean by competency-based curriculum as opposed to the current system,” said KICD Director Julius Jwan.
Parents and school boards of management will also be involved in the program.