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Fate of new education system expected to replace 8-4-4 to be known today

By Augustine Oduor | Published Tue, January 2nd 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 1st 2018 at 22:57 GMT +3
A Bata Shop attendant assists to fit in a shoe to a customer in Nyeri, on January 1, 2018. Parents are on a last minute rush as schools are set to re-open on Wednesday. [Photo: Kibata Kihu/Standard]

The fate of the new education system expected to replace 8-4-4 will be known tomorrow when top decision-making organs meet.

The Standard has established the National Steering Committee on Curriculum Reforms will meet as speculation rises over possible postponement of the nationwide roll out of the 2-6-3-3 system.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i will chair the meeting that will bring together senior education officials, religious leaders and other stakeholders.

Sources say Matiang’i will, today, meet teachers unions ahead of tomorrow's make-or-break meeting.

This came amid reports that the country may not be ready for implementation of the new curriculum when schools reopen this week.

Sources at the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) said top union officials would attend the meeting with the CS.

When contacted, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) director Jwan Julius yesterday said: “I am in the field supervising distribution of books. Will get back shortly." Dr Jwan had not responded by the time of going to press.

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The agenda of today's meeting was not immediately clear but sources familiar with the curriculum review process said Matiang'i would appraise the officials ahead of Wednesday's decision.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion, in a letter dated December 19, asked Matiang’i to rethink the curriculum reforms process and to include all stakeholders.

Panic mood

“You must have noticed Kenyans are in panic mood weeks before the launch of the new curriculum,” he said.

“Concerns by teachers, parents quality assurance and standards officers, university dons, education officers, teachers unions, school sponsors, experts and examination bodies in matters of curriculum, confirms all is not well,” said Sossion in the letter.

The letter copied to 14 key sector players, including head of public service Joseph Kinyua, KICD director Jwan, primary and secondary school heads, requests Matiang’i to ensure the Kenyan child gets good curriculum.

And tomorrow, the national steering committee, launched by Matiangi on April 7, 2016, meets to deliberate on the curriculum roll out.

The 36-member team provides guidance on policy requirements for different levels of education relating to development, implementation and assessment of curricula for education and training.

It also coordinates the development of budgets and implementation frameworks for the reformed curriculum, facilitates the design of effective frameworks for teacher orientation, in servicing and monitoring and evolution of the reformed curriculum.

Membership of the steering committee is drawn from trade union movement for teachers, religious organisations, universities, researchers and technocrats.

School heads

Members include Education PSs Belio Kipsang, Prof Collette Suda and Dr Dina Mwinzi, Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori and Mr Sossion.

Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia, Kenya National Examination Council secretary Mercy Karogo as well as chairpersons of primary and secondary school heads associations.

Others are National Council of Churches of Kenya Secretary General Rev Canon Peter Karanja, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Secretary General Adan Wachu and School of Education dean Prof Fatuma Chege, among others.

The team provides guidance on policy requirements relating to development, implementation and assessment of curricula and training.

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