Kenya: State Proceeds With Curriculum Rollout Despite Concerns

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed during a press conference on the reopening of schools and the new curriculum, January 2, 2019.
3 January 2019

The government has announced it will rollout the competency-based curriculum (CBC) on Thursday amid major concerns by education stakeholders on preparedness and the legality of the launch.

On Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed insisted the government is ready to launch the curriculum and will supply books to all public schools on time.

"The ministry and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) will ensure that course books and teachers' guides required for implementation of CBC are available in schools on time," she said.

The launch comes at a time when stakeholders are demanding that their concerns be addressed before the launch.

The issues they raise include inadequate alignment between the formulation of the curriculum, teachers capacity development, selection and supply of learning materials and assessment.

PUBLISHERS

Legally, a sessional Paper on Reforming Education and Training Sector in Kenya has to be passed by Parliament

Ms Mohamed presented the sessional paper to the National Assembly last week.

It is likely to be given priority in February when Parliament resumes from recess.

However, she said she has the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta and that all relevant government agencies will accord them the necessary support to implement the programme.

"We will not tolerate any excuses in the implementation of the CBC, we must succeed," she said.

Yesterday, the KICD advertised tenders inviting publishers whose books have been approved to print, package and distribute course materials for the curriculum for Grades 1, 2 and 3.

The publishers are supposed to send their sealed bids by January 22.

EVALUATION

Ms Mohamed announced plans for countrywide monitoring to ensure smooth implementation of CBC.

According to her, a solid communication plan that will provide regular updates on the progress of the implementation has been developed.

"A special desk and call centre will be established at the KICD to respond to public inquiries regarding CBC. We welcome regular feedback and public participation," she said.

Ms Mohamed said the successful implementation of the curriculum is the biggest priority for her ministry this year.

Under the new curriculum, lessons in the early education will last 30 minutes each.

Pre-primary (PP) will have five lessons and seven lessons in grades one to three per day.

FUNDS

In PP1 and PP2, course books cover Language Activities, Mathematical Activities, Environmental Activities, Psychomotor and Creative Activities and Religious Education Activities.

Last week, the Council of Governors rejected the rollout, arguing that counties are not ready for it.

Council chairman Josphat Nanok said regional governments do not have enough funds to support the curriculum.

But Ms Mohamed ordered all directorates and semi-autonomous government agencies under her ministry to carry out their mandate expeditiously to ensure that the implementation starts smoothly.

They were directed to confirm that all public primary schools have, and are using, CBC curriculum designs for pre-primary 1 and 2 and Grades 1, 2 and 3 as developed by KICD.

Yesterday, Early Childhood and Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang issued circulars detailing how lesson timetables will be prepared.

In the circulars, county and sub-county education directors have been ordered to ensure classroom observations are undertaken by field officers.

"You are to ensure that you play your role of ensuring the implementation of curriculum proceeds without any interruption," he directed.

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