NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Education stakeholders are calling for the quick gazettement of the Basic Education Curriculum Framework which if passed into law will overhaul the entire 8-4-4 system of education.
According to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), this will ensure that the curriculum reform process is legal and reduce the implementation period.
Speaking during a meeting dubbed ‘National Curriculum Reforms Conference’ on Monday, the Union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion further described the move to reform the curriculum as strategic as it placed more emphasis on value of skills learned.
“The policy document was shared last year but it is not gazetted or legislated as we are speaking. Stage number two about policy framework is very clear. All the stages must be treated as professionally as they should,” he stated.
Sossion stressed the need for teachers to be educated on aspects of the proposed new curriculum so that they are well equipped to teach the students.
“We think that a communication strategy is necessary at this point to get every teacher on board on the recommended changes. Unless we tag teachers along, we are increasing the risk of ending with a good document that we are unable to move to practice,” he said.
He stated the need for the pilot programme to be given sufficient time so that the effectiveness of the process may be gauged.
“Even if we are just piloting key components of the curriculum than the entire proposed competency based, value based and parent based it is necessary that we do it well. Regardless of the model, it is essential that we pilot for a full school year,” he said. “In this case, considering the many things and the time recommended above, the 2018 school year maybe the best timing for this pilot.”
He further explained the need to have an outsider to look over the framework as this can help in strengthening it.
“A rushed process and one that is both implemented and measured by insiders may miss the target. We need to carefully define the outcome levels that will measure success and carefully knit in sound measures that will inform the review,” he stated.
The meeting was also attended by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who emphasized that through the new curriculum, teachers will be able to when implemented assess the students’ other abilities, attitudes and aptitudes so that they can be all rounded individuals.
“I hear people saying that we are hurrying the curriculum reform. We have been at this since 2010, six years. We enacted a constitution in 2010 and many of you agree that we stepped back sometimes and asked ourselves, did we need to have so many of these offices so that we have to spend so much money paying people’s salaries,” he said. “We do not want to get to that point ourselves. We have done the economics of this new curriculum.”
The proposal by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) indicated that there will be Early, Middle and Senior schools with focus on continuous assessment tests over summative evaluation.
Early childhood and lower primary education middle primary and lower secondary; and upper secondary will take five, six and three years, respectively.