Fix the curriculum stalemate now to end confusion before schools reopen
The back-and-forth over the implementation of the new curriculum has left schools, parents and pupils much more confused. While ministry mandarins may not appreciate the magnitude of the crisis, the muddle within the education fraternity is palpable.
There are reports that Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed may have ignored recommendations of experts on the rollout of the new curriculum and went ahead to slam the breaks on the 2-6-3-3-system that was to replace 8-4-4.
While we appreciate the underlying challenges and the fact that the new system was conceived prior to Amina’s posting to the ministry, we believe the CS owes the country an explanation. The ongoing flip-flop is unacceptable.
The implications of a botched process are unimaginable. At least 170,000 teachers covering the basic education level had already been trained while thousands of pupils had been taken through Grade One and Grade Two.
Alarm bells that the new system was running into headwinds were raised mid this year by publishers who cautioned that they had not been given curriculum designs for Grade Four – a concern that authorities brushed aside at the time. Seemingly, the problem caught up with the system upon realisation that pupils in Grade Two had completed their academic year and were expected to progress next year to Grade Three – a level which had only been tested in select schools and with limited trained teachers.
It was fraught with other many logistical problems, including errors in course books. Only last week, Amina picked a team to weed out the errors and submit findings to her office.
We urge the Cabinet Secretary to consult widely and give Kenyans the way forward once and for all. In the past, pride and the battle of egos have ruined viable government programmes and policies to the detriment of innocent citizens. This shouldn’t be the case in a matter involving the future of this country’s children.
We are glad that stakeholders are burning the midnight oil to thrash out the issues. A team met yesterday ahead of a key national steering committee summit today, where the actual ministry position will be stated. The ministry has to listen to every stakeholder’s concerns. We can’t afford to ruin an entire sector.
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2-6-3-3-system8-4-4New CurriculumAmina MohamedEducation