Stick to 8-4-4 until further notice, Knut orders teachers

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion and his deputy Clement Omollo at a press conference. [David Gichuru, Standard]
Knut has continued its onslaught on the competency-based Curriculum, asking its members to follow the 8-4-4 system.

The directive comes a day after Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha launched the new curriculum policy which is meant to guide the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum(CBC).

The launch, which Kenya National Union of Teachers(Knut) boycotted, has, however, not gone down well with the union, which has rubbished the move saying no teacher was involved in putting the document together.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said the policy lacked merit as it was being launched months after the curriculum was already in place.

SEE ALSO :Prof Magoha on his character, slams his critics

“We cannot be invited as flower girls to go and cheer a policy that we never participated in. How on earth can a nation roll out a curriculum without a legitimate policy framework?” he wondered.

While the policy was unveiled on Wednesday, the curriculum took effect early this year. This is after a pilot phase on the CBC that ran between June 2017 and October 2017.

Sossion said as a far as teachers were concerned, the rolled out curriculum was unconstitutional and illegal hence none of Knut members will participate.

“We direct all our members to revert back to Outcome-Based Curriculum(OBC) until the nation agrees on the curriculum reforms and review,” he said.

Sossion, speaking from Knut offices in Nairobi, said there is no single report from the pilot phase of the CBC which informed the nationwide rollout.

SEE ALSO :Knut call for dialogue on CBC

“8-4-4 was piloted for four years nonstop before it was rolled out in 1985. Are parents even prepared for the new curriculum, do they understand what CBC entails?” he posed.

Sossion criticised the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission(TSC) saying they are arm-twisting teachers to get trained for the CBC.

He said even the teacher trainers themselves are not competent enough to understand the designs of the new curriculum.

“Teachers were policed into the centres. You cannot roll out a curriculum through intimidation and policing. It will not work. The CS should know that he is pushing what is already dead.” Sosssion said.

He said the Ministry and TSC have gone ahead and changed the title of the teachers under the CBS to the facilitator, which he described as an insult to the teaching profession.

SEE ALSO :Knut’s row with rival group ropes in State agencies

“If it is to be changed, there should be a parliamentary review,” he said.

In retaliation, Sosssion said they will be tabling a proposal to Building Bridges Initiative to reduce TSC to a department under the Ministry of Education as it has failed to fight for teachers and instead of intimidating them.

TSC interdicted 160 teachers who opposed the CBC.

During the launch of the policy, Education CS Prof Magoha had lashed out to those opposing the CBC saying they should rather offer ways to have it delivered instead of just criticizing.

“If you have something better why don’t you tell us what it is, or shut up,” said Magoha.

SEE ALSO :Knut now withdraws teachers' court case

Sossion said in the last meeting the Ministry had with stakeholders on the CBC was on December 2018, and it was agreed that the nationwide rollout of the new curriculum be pushed to 2020.

The decision was informed by an expert analysis which indicated that the government needs up to Sh365 billion to scrap off 8-4-4, majorly to train teachers and improve infrastructure.

“The government has not committed to providing these resources. All we have in our budget is Sh2 billion for computer labs,” said Sossion.

The SG claimed that the CBC will advantage private schools which have the requisite infrastructure and in the end ‘kill public education’.

“No amount of intimidation will deter us from pushing for orderly implementation,” he said.

He added: “When the ministry tells us they benchmark with countries like South Africa and Malaysia (which failed to implement the same) they are simply telling us it is just a matter of time before it also fails here. We told them about the laptop project and it came to pass.”

While the 8-4-4 system has been criticised for being too academic-oriented, the CBC otherwise known as 2-6-6-3 is more content based, which is expected to equip learners with more skills rather than just knowledge.

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KNUTGeorge MagohaNew Curriculum