NAIROBI, August 14 – A new secondary school syllabus, which will in be tandem with the tenets of Vision 2030 will be ready by January 2010, the Kenya Institute of Education has said.
Deputy Director in charge of Curriculum and Research Laban Ayiro told Capital News that the new coursework would focus on exposing the learner to the ‘knowledge economy’ as opposed to the current agricultural economics.
Ayiro emphasised: “That curriculum will be designed such that the product will be somebody who will engage more in individual learning as well as technology and information survey than the product of the system today. That would mean we are placing our graduates on the global platform ready to compete in the knowledge economy.”
“Teachers, will out of necessity, be facilitators in class and not deliverers of knowledge.”
Ayiro however stressed that the success of this curriculum which emphasises on learning as opposed to teaching would be dependent on the development of Information Technology in schools.
The institute, he said, was in the process of digitising the curriculum and had already completed the current form one syllabus.
The institution last week organised a two-day stakeholder’s forum aimed at guiding the evaluation. Ayiro revealed that a national survey on the current curriculum would be launched in October.
“We hope to have a published report on the curriculum in February and that will immediately guide the policy makers,” Ayiro said.
He however said that the contentious issue of workload is not the top priority in the evaluation.
“In Vision 2030 we are saying that Kenyan children will be subjected to international ranking. That in itself kind of dictates the content and the load the student will be exposed to because we want to be as good as anybody else. Where there are areas of overloading I think the onus is on us but it is evidence based,” he said.
The content debate has taken rounds in the education circles with students complaining that the current curriculum was overburdening. The issue featured prominently as a major cause of the recent students’ unrest.
In the guise of completing the ‘vast syllabus’, schools have been subjecting students to additional tuition during the holidays. The Education Ministry however banned the extra teaching this week in a bid to reduce pressure on the students.
The educationist nevertheless noted that the examination-based evaluation was to blame for the unnecessary pressure on students.
Meanwhile the institute is planning to roll out a series of training programs for teachers starting September prior to the introduction of the new Life Skills subject in January. The trainings, Ayiro noted, are meant to enlighten the teachers on the non-examinable course which will be experiential rather that be taught.
“Attributes of the subject are meant to be imbibed through role play. That requires new skills for the teachers,” he said.
The Deputy Director said that the subject is also meant to introduce teachers to a new concept of psychology, emotional intelligence, as opposed to the current evaluation of children using the Intelligent Quotient to the totality of a person.
“Emotional Intelligence takes us in to the area of the messy matters of the heart,” he
The Education Ministry plans to introduce the subject in January 2009 as a measure towards enhancing discipline in schools.