Government now seals legal gaps in education curriculum roll-out

Ruia primary school teachers Head teacher Ann Muthii(r) go through the new curriculum syllabus with pre-primary 2 teacher Eunice Mwangi and Grade i teacher Moraa Mukaya as they prepared to start the new curriculum in their school.

The Government has moved to seal legal gaps that critics cite to resist roll-out of the new education curriculum set to replace the 8-4-4 system. The State further disclosed that the curriculum's implementation will extend to Grade Four next year.

Yesterday's launch of the first national curriculum policy that will anchor the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) came on the backdrop of on-going training of teachers on the new 2-6-3-3-3 system, which has been rolled out up to Grade Three.

Besides the policy, which anchors the curriculum within the national legislation envisaged in the Constitution, the ministry is lobbying MPs to speed passage of a Sessional Paper before Parliament, which will further enhance the legal and policy frameworks upon which the CBC will be grounded.

And to signal that implementation of the new curriculum will progress to higher classes, a National Education Conference planned in August will form the basis of a road map for CBC roll-out in Grade Four next year.

The policy aims to establish the new curriculum for all levels of education, institutionalise formative assessment at all levels as well as mobilise resources for curriculum development and implementation.

Education CS George Magoha unveiled the document, which arose from a process that began in 2014, and declared that there was no turning back on the implementation of CBC. 

“The policy is one of the fundamental documents that will anchor the CBC. Its launch today (yesterday), therefore, is the clearest indication yet that Government is not going back on the process of implementing the CBC. The roll-out will continue in a most well organised, systematic and highly professional manner to ensure our children get quality education for a better future,” Prof Magoha said at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

The Government's step is interpreted as a demonstration that it will not cave in to protests from Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), whose members are facing disciplinary action for trying to sabotage training on the CBC. 

Magoha disclosed that more than 91,000 teachers had been trained on the CBC and 1,400 education officers enlightened on the management and supervision of CBC in schools.

The CS announced that he had held a meeting with MPs over the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019, which the Ministry submitted to the August House last year.

“I'm proud to announce that the final and revised document is before the House and we hope legislators will be giving it their most urgent consideration. Once passed, the Sessional Paper will further enhance the legal and policy frameworks upon which CBC will be anchored,” Magoha said.

The policy has landmark provisions on teacher training, assessment, governance, finance management, inclusion, equity, research, textbooks and other learning materials and roles of parents and county governments. 

For example, counties have been given a role in setting the curriculum agenda by contributing county specific content that will spur development in their areas.

Magoha said devolved units were in charge of Early Child Development and Education (ECDE) and vocational training centres, and that the Government had further decentralised education by empowering county offices through county education boards.

“Given this capacity, it is prudent to allow all counties to contribute to curriculum content. For example, those along Lake Victoria may want to include fishing, while nomadic communities may include nomadic lifestyles and how to modernise and improve their living standards,” the policy states.

The policy also recommends developing and implementing a national teacher training policy.

This includes offering Diploma Teacher Education courses in teacher training colleges as it phases out certificate courses and reform ECDE training in a bid to enhance teacher quality.

The policy calls for enhancement of pedagogical approaches that support creativity, innovation, critical thinking, inclusivity and training teachers to be innovative and use modern instructional approaches.

On books, government intends to mobilise resources and in partnership with private support and households ensure a book ratio of 1:1 at all levels of basic education.