KICD seeks to design market oriented curriculum for senior school

Portable laboratories designed by youthful experts to assist schools in remote localities acquire effective laboratories. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has been challenged to develop curriculum for Senior School (SS) that will accelerate the Kenya Kwanza government agenda on job creation.

KICD Council Chairman Simon Gicharu said curricula should be aligned with the Bottom Up Economic Transformation (BETA) model to ensure job creation for the youth.

Prof Gicharu was speaking during an induction workshop for KICD senior management to appraise them on the ongoing curriculum reforms to enable the council provide the necessary guidance for the effective implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

“As a council, we have a role to play in the approval of all curricula developed or vetted by the institute and ensure that the teaching and learning materials meet international standards for application in basic education and teachers education and training in Kenya,” he said.

The KICD chairman asked the management to ensure that market oriented courses, locally and internationally such as marine science, aviation science and foreign languages, including German, French, Mandarin, are offered at senior school to empower youths and accelerate the growth and development of Kenya.

“We need to tap on the available global job opportunities by offering relevant courses driven by the current industrial demand,” said Gicharu.

The Basic Education Curriculum Framework (2017) provides for three career pathways at Senior School, which is from Grade 10 to 12.

These are Arts and Sports Science, Social Sciences and Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

It is important to get Senior School curriculum properly conceptualized before the university takes it up. In Senior School, students who will be taking Technical Studies track, will acquire dual certification.

KICD Chief Executive Officer Charles Ong’ondo, said that CBC is a dynamic curriculum for the globe.

"KICD takes cognizance of the vision and mission of the Competency Based Curriculum which is to nurture every learners potential and have engaged, empowered and ethical citizens in the 21st century," said Prof Ongondo.

He noted that CBC intends to expose learners to the changing demands in the job market.

Gicharu said that it is prudent to work towards achieving set goals for growth and development of the Institute.

“There are three critical pillars for the success of any organisation, which are planning, financial management, and governance. These pillars must be taken into consideration for prudent management,” he said.

During the retreat at PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort in Mombasa, Gicharu emphasised that KICD is the only government agency charged with developing, reviewing, evaluating, and approving curricula, programmes, and curriculum support materials that meet international standards for application in basic, tertiary education and training.

In exercising the role, KICD was a key stakeholder and implementer in the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), chaired by Prof Raphael Munavu.

KICD has accomplished the review of curriculum designs up to Grade 10 in line with the recommendations in the PWPER and is ready to have them approved by the Council as required by the Act.

“The approval of the designs is expected to take place in late February 2024,” said Ong’ondo.

The CEO assured the public that learning areas were not scrapped or done away with but were carefully and critically looked at and KICD ensured that related strands and sub-strands were accommodated in one learning area.

“KICD has ensured that critical competencies that learners are supposed to have are not lost but realised in the rationalised learning areas,” he said.

"There is no cause for alarm as the process has not watered down the quality of CBC," he added.

Curriculum implementers including teachers, heads of learning institutions, and Curriculum Support Officers (CSOs), are advised to access the designs and use them to interpret and arrange the strands and sub-strands, create schedules and design lesson plans for effective teaching and learning.

Copies of the draft designs are already shared with various organisations in the education sector, including teachers unions.

KICD adapts curriculum designs and other materials for Special Needs Education (SNE) learners who are Visually Impaired (VI), Physically Handicapped/Impaired (PI), and those with Hearing Impairment (HI) in tandem with those for the regular learners.

“The Institute has reviewed the adapted designs for VI, HI, and PI. Those following the Stage Based Curriculum from the Foundational level, Intermediate, and Pre-Vocational levels have their teaching and learning materials reworked on,” said Ong’ondo.

According to the PWPER report presented to President William Ruto on August 1, 2023 by Prof Raphael Munavu Party, learning areas in Basic Education were recommended as follows:

Pre-Primary (PP1 PP2) to have subjects not to exceed five (5); Lower Primary (Grade 1-3) not more than seven (7); Upper Primary (Grade 4-6) not exceeding eight (8); Junior School (Grade 7-9) not exceeding nine (9); and Senior School (Grade 10-12) to have learning areas not to exceed seven (7).