State allays book publishers' fears of new school system

The Government has allayed fears that the roll-out of the competence-based curriculum could stall.

Responding to concerns by Kenya Publishers Association that printing of learning materials for Grade Four were running behind schedule, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) yesterday said "there is no cause for the alarm".

"The process of approving curriculum designs for Grade Four is underway and all the prerequisite stages of quality assurance must be satisfactorily met. The curriculum designs required for the publishers to produce relevant curriculum support materials will be released to the publishers once they have gone through the approval processes," KICD said in a statement.

Publishers on Sunday warned that Grade Three pupils in primary schools presently being taught under the new curriculum faced the risk of progressing to the next class in January before the learning materials were ready.

SEE ALSO :'We're not ready for new syllabus'

Yesterday, KICD explained that the Government used various assessments on the most appropriate strategy to decide that the new curriculum should be implemented in phases to guarantee high quality standards.

"Short-cuts can be suicidal especially when dealing with the education of our children. Therefore we appeal for calm as we remain optimistic that the gains of the ongoing curriculum reforms will not be watered down by the rigour of insisting on what is right," the statement added.

Main objective

The KICD explained that the main objective of piloting was to point out areas that required fine tuning to ensure that the country did not revert to the current system of education that has been widely criticised as being examination oriented.

The second phase of the pilot has been going on since January in all public and private schools targeting the first category of learners in Pre-Primary One and Two and grades one, two and three.

The statement said KICD had evaluated and approved materials by various publishers for all learning areas for Pre-Primary One and Two and grades one to three.

"These materials are in the market and schools have been using them," the institute said.

The statement added that KICD in partnership with other players in the education sector conducted the last phase of monitoring the pilot of the Competency Based Curriculum for Early Years Education, which ended on September 19.

Analysis of the data collected is ongoing and will be presented to key players in the education sector in a meeting to be chaired by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, ahead of the national conference later this year. 

"The feedback captured through classroom observations, teachers’ and parents’ interviews will be used to enrich the process further including a thorough scrutiny of the assessment methods, curriculum support materials, methodology of teaching, and parental involvement," KICD added.

"Ultimately, an evaluation report will determine the roll-out plan for the early years education and other phases of implementation. It is only after this report that the Government will make a definite decision on the roll-out in upper primary."

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