20 April 2017

Kenya: Ministry Launches Trial Project for New Learning Curriculum

Photo: Evans Habil/The Nation
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i addresses a meeting of head teachers at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi on April 20, 2017.

The pilot for the new education system was launched today. The plan is to have it up and running in January.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i presided over the launch at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

He said a report on the exercise will be presented to the Cabinet for adoption before being submitted to Parliament for approval by the end of this year.

DESIRED OUTCOME

Dr Matiang'i said the government is keen to have the piloting run smoothly.

Participating private and public schools were selected scientifically with rural and urban representation.

The pilot in 470 schools will test the feasibility and validity of the planned curriculum, teacher preparation and assessment in different contexts and levels.

Five pre-primary and five primary schools in each one of the 47 counties will participate.

FACTUAL DATA

Pilot of materials with pupils will be done for eight to 10 weeks.

One of the schools in every county will be for learners with special needs.

The new curriculum seeks to radically change the country's education system in more than 30 years as it replaces the disgraced 8-4-4.

The CS asked those involved to carry it out with integrity.

"We want accurate responses from learners, teachers," said Dr Matiang'i. "Do not edit them; we want factual information, which will help us make decisions."

The government had sufficient resources from the National Treasury and a committee was working on the costs.

"The report on cost of the curriculum will help to determine its implementation as we do not want to make a decision that may be expensive for us to implement," said Dr Matiang'i.

PROJECT PHASES

He added that the review will be driven by Kenyans and not foreigners.

"We have had meetings and involved all stakeholders. We do not want to make any mistake. This is, basically, a research and the outcome will determine the final design," he said.

He asked the Teachers Service Commission not to transfer any teacher involved in the pilot from May to August.

"We have started with training of headteachers so that they understand what we mean by competency-based curriculum as opposed to the current system," said Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Director Julius Jwana.

Parents and school boards of management will have a role throughout the pilot.

They will be required to provide extensive and honest feedback.

The pilot will be at pre-primary and lower primary levels before January. Next will be middle and senior schools.

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