21 March 2019

Kenya: Teachers Inadequately Trained on New Syllabus, MPs Told

Primary school headteachers have now joined the Kenya National Union of Teachers in questioning the implementation of the new curriculum which started in January this year in pre-primary 1 to Grade 3.

Appearing before the National Assembly's Education Committee, Kenya Primary School Heads Association Chairman Nicholas Gathemia poured cold water on the whole process, from piloting to implementation, saying it is facing several challenges.

Mr Gathemia told the committee chaired by Malava MP Malulu Injendi that only two teachers were trained per school and that the training was inadequate as only two sessions were conducted. He added that most of those who were trained are exiting the service.

CONTINUOUS TRAINING

"All teachers should be effectively trained. Training should be continuous and there should be enhanced trainings in teachers training colleges to incorporate the competency-based curriculum in their programmes," Mr Gathemia proposed.

Headteachers also say continuous assessment of individual pupils is still a nightmare and is encouraging rote assessment in cases of classes with large enrolments of between 60 and 100 pupils.

Mr Gathemia told the committee that there is need to build capacity in teachers, improve teacher-pupil ratio and put up more classes in public schools.

PILOTING

On piloting of the new curriculum which was done for two years, he said pilot schools were favourably selected and comprised of those with best infrastructural facilities in each category of rural, urban and special needs education.

"Our prayer is that the implementation of the new curriculum and other interventions be progressive for the benefit of all," said Mr Gathemia.

The Teachers Service Commission has indicated that it needs Sh900 million to support the training of 100,000 teachers in April, August and December.

The teachers to be trained are those teaching in Grade 1, 2 and 3.

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