The church has finally thrown its weight behind the new curriculum as a detailed calendar of activities leading to the August 16 national conference emerged.
Sunday Standard has established that the announcement was made during a closed-door meeting last week between Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and the religious leaders.
Officials of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Anglican Church of Kenya, National Independent Church of Africa, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Salvation Army and other religious organisations attended the meeting.
Other religious organisations represented were Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Africa Christian Churches and Schools, African Orthodox Church, Friends Church of Kenya, Methodist Church in Kenya and Pentecostal Evangelical of Africa.
Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang and other top ministry officials were also present.
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The resolution of the meeting is a major boost to the curriculum implementation, which is facing open opposition from the Kenya National Teachers Union (Knut).
A joint statement presented to Magoha reveals that the churchfirmly supports the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) even as they proposed areas of improvement.
“We in the church appreciate the competence/ value based curriculum as we have been involved since its conception and formulation. In the schools affiliated to us, we have witnessed positive change in children towards learning. They seem to be more interested in education and applying it in life,” reads the statement.
The major announcement by the church came as the Ministry of Education released a schedule of events, known as pre-conference, which will take place ahead of the August national convention on CBC.
The pre-conferences have been organised on various thematic areas and will focus on how each area fits in the wider CBCplan.
The events will run from Thursday next week to August 12, just two days to the major conference.
The Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) will host the first pre-conference on August 1, where competency based assessment will be discussed.
Another pre-conference will be held on August 2 by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (Cemastea).
Issues around Special Needs Education will be discussed on August 5, organised by the Kenya Institute of Special Needs Education.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) will host the next pre-conference on language. The meeting will take pace on August 6.
And on August 8, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) will host a consultative meeting to discuss middle level training and how it fits into CBC. Religious leaders and Elimu Yetu Coalition (EYC) will on August 9 host a pre-conference -on how they fit in the overall CBC.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority and the youth will then hold meetings on August 10 and 12 respectively.
During the meeting with Magoha, the church listed a number of areas they say need to be strengthened as the new curriculum is rolled out, including teacher training.
“We propose that a plan and structure of the in-service trainings be provided to enable the schools and teachers to plan in advance taking into consideration the teachers’ other obligations and commitments,” reads the statement.
The church also asked Magoha to ensure that the teachers’ trainings are spread out throughout the year to ensure that learners in schools are taken care of.
“The Ministry in collaboration with the Teachers Service Commission develops a schedule for the training of all teachers already in service so that they can deliver CBC.”
The church also proposed that teachers from private schools be included in the in-service training because they are also expected to deliver the CBC.
“This will ensure quality and uniformity in training and implementation of the curriculum, and thus benefit all the children in the country,” reads the statement.
The church also proposed that funding of schools should include private institutions, saying public institutions are not adequate to provide education to all the children.
“We strongly recommend that the per capita funding of school children is allocated to all learners, including the ones in private schools. This will ease the congestion being witnessed in public schools.”
And on grade three assessments, the church said that it is concerned that objectivity in the activity will be lost since the assessment has been left to the teachers.
“The ministry needs to clarify the measures put in place to assure objectivity.”
Overall, the church asked Magoha to ensure high standards of education are maintained in all institutions.