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Kenya gets closer to replacing the 8-4-4

By Augustine Oduor | Published Mon, December 11th 2017 at 12:28, Updated December 11th 2017 at 13:18 GMT +3
Director KICD Dr.Julius Jwan during National Conference for Curriculum Reforms at KICC, Nairobi on Monday 30/01/17. [PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO]

Some 170,000 teachers and support officers today begin training ahead of next month's rollout of the new education curriculum.

The training is the last this year as the Government gears for the first phase of the implementation of the 2-6-3-3 system that replaces the 8-4-4  format.

Only pre-primary and early grade classes (grade one to three) are targeted in the January rollout in the phased implementation of the new curriculum over seven years.

A total of 173,000 education officials who will implement the new curriculum that incorporates new content and teaching methods will have induction training this week, according to government plans.

Of these, 170,000 are tutors who teach early years of education (pre-primary and grade 1-3) from both public and private schools.

Another 3,000 curriculum support officers (CSOs), who are Teachers Service Commission (TSC) employees, will also be inducted in the last-minute preparations.

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Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Director Julius Jwan said the new curriculum would be implemented in phases spanning seven years, dismissing claims of a rushed programme.

Dr Jwan said training of teachers and curriculum support officers targeted officials who would implement the first phase.

“We want to thank primary school teachers for understanding the programme details and embracing the implementation plans,” he said.

Jwan said the training would focus on the competency-based curriculum, interpretation of the curriculum designs, special needs education, and integration of ICT in teaching and learning.

KICD, in collaboration with other partners in education, has developed a facilitators’ manual to guide the training and ensure teachers appreciate the curriculum reforms.

The trainers have been carefully selected to ensure only those who understand the curriculum prepare the rest of the teachers.

They comprise officers from KICD, TSC, Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI), and the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA).

Others are experienced educationists mainly from universities who have been trained and validated on core competences that are the backbone of the new curriculum.

Preparation of teachers for the new curriculum began in May. The first lot of 2,374 CSOs, head teachers, and teachers were trained in two phases.

An implementation schedule seen by The Standard shows that in 2019, the new curriculum will be rolled out for grades four and five.

This means that training for the teachers who will implement this phase will be done next year.

In  2020, the document says, the implementation will target grade six. And this also means that teachers and officials who will implement this will be trained and inducted in 2019.

The document states that grade six will mark the end of primary education under the new 2-6-3-3 system of education.

Gauge understanding

At this stage, there will be no examinations. Only assessments that will be done in sampled schools will be used to gauge understanding of the content areas.

Implementation of the new curriculum for grade seven will take place in 2021.

The training of teachers and officials for this phase will take place in 2020.

The grade eight and nine rollout will be done in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

National examinations will be administered at the end of this junior secondary education. Another set of examinations will be administered at grade 12.

Jwan said that contrary to reports that examinations will be scrapped, grades nine and 12 will offer examinations.

He said the first examinations of grade nine will be used to place students in various pathways of their choice.

Overall, the assessments will be both summative and formative and they will be done by the Kenya National Examinationa Council.

The document explains that grade 10 will be rolled out in 2024 and grades 11 and 12 will be done in the subsequent years.

This means that the last Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination will be administered in 2025.

Jwan yesterday said the training of the staff would be continuous throughout the implementation period.

“We will induct teachers up to the closest time it can be to the implementation of the new curriculum. If we decide to wait for another year, I am convinced we shall just be going round in circles,” Jwan said.

TSC officers will provide mentorship because they will continue with induction of the teachers. After the training, TSC will proceed with continuous professional development.