20 April 2017

Kenya: Pilot Phase of New Education System to Replace 8-4-4 Launched

Nairobi — The Ministry of Education has launched the pilot program for the new education system that will replace 8-4-4.

Speaking during the launch on Thursday morning, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi indicated that the study will be carried out to test the feasibility and validity of the planned curriculum designs, teacher preparation and assessment models.

The Education CS stated that the new system will replace the current Standard One to Form Four with Grade 1 to Grade 12.

"A lot of planning is in place. We have allocated sufficient resources from the National Treasury to move this process forward and in working on this curriculum. No one should have any fear because we had a subcommittee costing the implementation of this program," he said.

He outlined the purpose of the pilot phase which he says is to determine the viability of the exercise on a national level.

"We want to keep an eye on the cost of implementing this curriculum so that we do not make a decision and then later on we cannot live by it because it is too expensive to implement," he stated.

Ten pilot schools were selected in each of the 47 counties in Kenya based on well balanced and elaborate criteria.

Matiangi explained that the new system has been categorised into three phases, Early Years Education covering nursery education to Grade 3, Middle School Education covering Grade 4 to Grade 9 and Senior School covering grades 10 to 12.

"A sub-committee that has been working on the cost of the curriculum has done a fantastic job and by the time we complete this exercise and begin to implement the new curriculum, we will be taking decisions that we know we can live with financially," he said.

Head teachers are also expected to undergo a one day induction training on Competency Based Curriculum in preparation for the pilot phase of the new curriculum in their schools, starting next month.

The system, which places emphasis on Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) over one-off examinations, will then be rolled out in January next year covering nursery, Standard One, Two and Three.

In 2019, the system is expected to be rolled out in Standard Four to six and in 2020 it will cover Standard Seven, Eight and Form One.

In 2021, the system will be extended to Form Two only and in the following year it will cover Form Three.

In 2023, it will be rolled out in Form Four.

According to a National Basic Education Curriculum Framework (NBECF) implementation plan developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the last Standard Eight candidates to sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will tackle the exam in 2019, while the last Form Four to sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination will write the papers in 2022.

After its implementation starting January 2018, KICD will embark on retraining upper primary teachers (Grade 4 to Grade 6) on the new system's demands and requirements.

The institute will also concentrate on developing learning materials and teaching guides for G7 to G9 which is Lower Secondary.

Teachers teaching Grades 7 to 9 will be trained on the new system starting 2019 during which period KICD will also complete the development of learning materials and teaching guides for senior secondary covering grades 10 to 12.

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