, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – Education experts have called for an immediate and complete reform of the existing 8-4-4 education curriculum to conform to the demands of the changing labour market.
The experts said reforms must be skills and competency based as opposed to examination oriented.
They indicated that quality of the new curriculum should have thematic approaches that are relevant to 21st century noting the new curriculum must have an Internet based paradigm as opposed to book based that Kenyans have always known.
“Convinced that Kenya’s economic growth depends on competitive production of goods and services using the right, competent and skilled workforce, hereby resolve that we shall provide access to quality and relevant education through flexible curriculum pathways that develop learners abilities and talents and reduce wastage at all levels,” a statement read by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i indicated.
In the statement, Matiang’i stated the need to utilise technology to enhance approaches that support creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.
“We need to establish mechanisms for conducting both formative and summative evaluation as a means of achieving comprehensive results of learning outcomes,” he said.
The Education CS further emphasised the need for a competency based curriculum at all levels.
“It’s so evident that time is here for us to substantively transform the curriculum. We will carry on with this exercise and I need to announce to the country that from here the Ministry is going to collect all the data and information that we have collected through the needs assessment,” he stressed.
“Then we will begin a new work of designing a new curriculum for Kenya that will take another two months or so.”
Speaking at the Conference on Curriculum Development, the Deputy President William Ruto outlined the importance of the education curriculum whose outcome will impact greatly on the mental character of the nation.
“We have filled our university classrooms with thousands of children and we are teaching them when Vasco Da Gama arrived in Mombasa and very few of those students can fix a lamp when it goes off,” he pointed out. “That debate must really inform where we are going on the relevance of or education.”
The experts are seeking to also initiate organisational linkages and networks to promote adoption, implementation and evaluation of competency based education.
They further want to provide adequate financial resources and streamline governance structures to support the implementation of the curriculum reform.
Their agenda also includes establishing a public private partnership framework which will support the contribution of stakeholders and individuals to the development and implementation of curriculum.