Naysayers not honest about new curriculum

In an attempt to employ the instrumentality of education to fast-track the realisation of the Vision 2030, some stakeholders have stressed the need for Kenya to embrace a type of education that is not synonymous with schooling. The system of education we have been clamouring for is inclusive education for all (IEFA), which implies education in totality.

The prevailing notion of equating education with schooling has led to the exclusion of a large number of “educables” within a society from benefiting from education. This narrow conception of education has also prevented the government from linking education with other national development sectors.

Further, equating education with mere schooling creates major problems for schools themselves. Not only do we insulate schools from society, we also deny them what they require for the promotion of learning.

Mere education?

This has also led to equating learning with the uncritical memorisation of contents of a book. It tends to equate knowledge with memory; sees teaching not as a guiding, but as a mere telling. IEFA is the surest education route to the year 2030 as it is more suited to enhance the nations’ sustainable human development than mere schooling; emphasising that continued pursuit of mere education will simply magnify Kenya’s current socio-economic problems as it does not transform students to enable them contribute to societal transformation.

Enhanced human capacity is an essential requirement for human centred development.

Society needs developed human talents to make the construction of physical infrastructure possible. This includes design, construction, maintenance and use. Enhanced human capacity involves paying attention to intellect as well as the values, attitudes and societal compartments.

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Why knowledge matters

Enhanced human capacity is fully enhanced when a society has critical mass of people whose intellect, values and attitudes have been qualitatively transformed.

Such a society will provide opportunities for continuing human capacity regeneration.

Most importantly, that society will have internalised the practice of harnessing knowledge as a tool for sustainable human development, which involves capitalising on the knowledge contribution of the people.

IEFA takes care of all failings of mere schooling.

While the agency in charge of mere schooling is the ministry of education and formal institutions, that of genuine education which is inclusive involves ministry of education and a variety of society resources.

IEFA is also markedly different from mere schooling in the sense that while the beneficiaries of the former were selected in early childhood, those of the later are in all stages of life.

The goals of mere schooling are progression from grade to grade, specialisation and qualification for job hunting. But the goals of inclusive education enhance personality development, social and technical skills, lifelong learning, creativity and resourcefulness.

In terms of resources, mere schooling systems rely on government budgets. The main resources of inclusive education are government budgets, other sector budgets, non-governmental inputs and supportive socio-economic and political super structure which put teachers, materials and infrastructure in a more satisfactory state.

Failure of 8-4-4

The process of delivering education under mere schooling are frontal teaching and examinations while those of genuine and inclusive education include participatory, activity based teaching and learning, learning from life situations, events and phenomena as well as life skills development.

The outcomes of mere schooling are massive failure in examinations; poor level of adaptation to the demands of the world of work, wastage/ poor returns on education sector investment,  but the outcomes of inclusive education are critical mass of learning “ individuals”, closer link with the world of work and an improved socio-economic yield on the education sector investment.

There is thus low level of education contribution to the overall national development by mere schooling.

 To ensure the workability of IEFA, Kenya must show commitment beyond sloganeering to genuine nation building by engaging in political re-engineering, socio-economic re-engineering and educational re-engineering.

For Kenya to fit education neatly into its development equation, it will require to go beyond mere schooling to inclusive education by expanding and diversifying opportunities to all segments of the society. Therefore CBC is the way to go for Kenya to realiSe these dreams and make them a reality.

Mr Kasiran is a Tutor at Mosoriot TTC practicing educationist. [email protected]

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Failure of 8-4-4New Curriculum