By Standard Team
The taskforce, which handed over its report to the Ministry of Education early this year, recommended among other things the scrapping of the nearly three-decade-old 8-4-4 system of education for allegedly failing to meet its ideals.
The Professor Douglas Odhiambo-led Taskforce on the Re-Alignment of the Education Sector to the Constitution of Kenya concluded that the current system has failed to deliver on practical skills and exploit learners’ talents.
It proposed a 2-6-3-3-3 system where learners would spend two years in pre-school, six in primary, three in junior secondary, three in senior secondary and another three at the university.
To address the apparent failure by 8-4-4 to exploit talents, the taskforce recommends teaching of sports and talents in junior secondary and career specialisation in senior secondary level.
However, education stakeholders are pulling in different directions on the need to scrap the system and install a new one.
Sources in the ministry say Minister Mutula Kilonzo favours retention of the 8-4-4 system, but advocates for adoption of some of the taskforce recommendations in reforming the sector.
Recently, Mutula said instead of changing the structure a stakeholders’ forum had decided to incorporate many of the taskforce’s recommendations in the Education Bill under process.
“The contents of the (taskforce) report are what will benefit learners but not necessarily the change of structures,” he said.
The Education Bill 2012 draws a lot from the taskforce report. The Bill proposes creation of a National Education Board to monitor and evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of all education policies and also to advise Education Cabinet Secretary on policy matters.