Selected heads of primary schools were briefed about the new education curriculum as part of preparations for its testing in May 2017. The head teachers were told that the children they are teaching will not sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination once the new curriculum is rolled out.
They were told that by the end of six years, all children will transit to the next learning level called junior secondary school. The 470 school heads, whose institutions will interact with the new learning experiences during the piloting phase, heard that Class Seven and Eight examinations will no longer exist. The two examinations currently hold the key to secondary and university education.
The teachers were told that by the time the children exit Standard Six, they (tutors) ought to be conversant with learners’ capabilities and inabilities. Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the competency-based curriculum would not be ‘a sieve churning out failures’. Continuous assessment tests would be introduced, phasing out terminal national examinations. Under the proposed learning system, 2-6-6-3 will replace the current 8-4-4. This means that learners will spend two years in nursery school, six on primary education, and another six years for secondary schooling.
Primary education will be divided into the lower and upper levels while secondary learning will be split into the junior and senior grades. The head teachers were told that three pathways shall be introduced to reduce the rigidity of the curriculum that requires learners to study ‘intense core curriculum’ regardless of a learner’s aptitude and interest.
The pathways will include general education, technical or vocational education, and talent development,” said Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Director Jwan Julius. The details of the new system – which have been on paper for a while – were for the first time relayed to the first batch of school heads whose institutions will champion the rollout of the pilot phase starting May 29.
~ By Augustine Oduor