Confusion mars national rollout of new curriculum

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) chairman George Magoha(Left) CS Education Amina Mohamed(Centre) and Dr.Richard Belio Kipsang (Right) Principal Secretary state department of early learning and basic education ministry of education briefing the media on KCSE Exams: [PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI]

The Ministry of Education has hinted at possible postponement of the national rollout of the new curriculum.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed yesterday gave the strongest indication that the much-hyped rollout of the new school curriculum could be postponed.

“The rollout of the new curriculum is important, but it cannot be rushed,” the CS told members of the Senate Education Committee yesterday.

Officially launched

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Amina said the new 2-6-3-3 Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), which was supposed to be launched in January, has been put on hold.

“The design is fantastic but the devil is in the detail of implementation. We are doing all we can as a ministry to bring stakeholders on board,” the CS,  accompanied by Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang told the committee.

The minister said this would pave way for further engagement with stakeholders and also accord the ministry ample time to train its personnel before the implementation of the new curriculum.

The shocking turn of events comes weeks after Amina promised that the national rollout of Grade One to Three in all schools would start next January.

Plans had been underway for the new curriculum, with steering committee scheduled to meet tomorrow. The meeting was to take place on Monday but was postponed.

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It is now not clear whether the national curriculum conference scheduled for December 17 will kick off.

Debate has, however, been whether the national rollout should be extended to Grade Four next year.

Sources in the external evaluation hinted that the team would recommend national rollout up to Grade Three, leaving out Grade Four.

Only 735 schools piloted Grade Three and were expected to inform national rollout.

However, confusion yesterday marred the curriculum rollout with conflicting reports on the fate of the implementation.

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While Amina gave indication of a complete halt to the national rollout, sources at the ministry said only Grade Four would not undergo implementation.

Kenya Private Schools Association (Kpsa) has protested the decision of not clarifying implementation of Grade Four, saying curriculum designs have not been developed.

“Private schools are confused. All our schools roll out new curriculum in all schools and we cannot go back to 8-4-4. We shall move to court to compel the ministry to release designs,” said Peter Ndoro, the CEO.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Dr Kipsang clarified that there should be no problem with going back to the old system, as the pupils were only in Grades One and Two, and not Three.

“Technically, nobody is going to Grade Four in this curriculum, we only have Class One and Two. So there should be no problem at all,” he said.

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Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development CEO Julius Jwan also clarified that the transition to the old system should not have any challenges because in the early years, children only acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Amina MohamedCBC8-4-4 systemBelio Kipsang