The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and National Assembly's Education committee on Wednesday differed with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), which called for a boycott on ongoing training of teachers for the new curriculum.
This came as Knut officials in Kibwezi and Kakamega were charged with disrupting the training. In Nairobi, Education committee Chairman Julius Melly (Tinderet MP) said Knut should allow the training to go on as matters raised are addressed, noting that the issue of a legal framework is being worked on.
"During our discussions with Ministry of Education officials and other stakeholders, it emerged that teachers were not well-trained and now they are being trained. We need to support this move," said Mr Melly.
Kuppet Deputy Secretary-General Moses Nturima said teachers should not be stopped from attending the training since learning is a lifelong process.
"We need a curriculum that will give our children competence-based knowledge so that the problem of joblessness is dealt with once and for all. In countries like China and Finland, where competence-based curricula were embraced long ago, children's abilities are identified early, and development is tangible," said Mr Nturima.
Meanwhile, Speaking in Matuga, Kwale County, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the training is crucial for teachers in preparation for the rollout of the new curriculum.
He added that four days are enough to train the teachers. In Mombasa, hundreds of teachers turned up for the training, saying it is beneficial to the education sector.
The teachers, led by Coast Kenya Primary School Headeachers Association Chairman Fuad Ali, said the training is crucial for the implementation of the new curriculum.
The training, which began on Tuesday and ends on Friday, involves more than 91,000 teachers countrywide and is being conducted in 1,191 zones.
Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said that there are plans for more training to ensure that all teachers are adequately prepared to implement the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Teachers undergoing the training are required to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective implementation of CBC; apply innovative pedagogical approaches and models, demonstrate competencies in assessment and be self-reflective, self-improving and supportive of learners.
According to the Early Years Education Curriculum Facilitator's Training Manual prepared by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, which is being used in the training, there are seven core competencies that basic learners should acquire: communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, learning to learn, and self-efficacy.
The teachers are also being taught to integrate ICT into learning.
In Kakamega, County Knut Chairman Patrick Chungani and Kakamega Central branch Chairman Tom Ingolo, together with officials Kennedy Ayodi, Jackline Mulindi and Nelly Muliatsi, were charged with inciting teachers and disrupting the training sessions.
They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Bildad Ochieng. They were released on a Sh100,000 bond each, or an alternative Sh50,000 cash bail.
Reported by Ouma Wanzala, Winnie Atieno, Adisa Valentine and Gaitano Pessa