Kenya: New Curriculum on Course as Schools Reopen

Students at Olympic primary school in Kibera (file photo).

Learners in nursery schools and lower primary begin their second term Monday under the new curriculum with Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha having hailed its rollout as "an astounding success".

The competency based curriculum (CBC) was launched during the first term in January.

"I, therefore, wish to declare the 2019 national rollout of the CBC in Pre-Primary 1 and 2, and Grade 1, 2 and 3 this year an astounding success," Prof Magoha said.

This time round, 91,000 teachers will be heading back to class after undergoing a four-day training that was characterised by opposition from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), which insisted that the exercise was being conducted outside the provisions of the law.

The curriculum focusses on seven core competencies -- communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, learning to learn and self-efficacy.

In the training that was concluded on Friday, teachers were taught how to develop specific learning outcomes for a lesson, build in emerging issues and values in a learning outcome and how to engage pupils in learning areas.

ICT INTEGRATION

"CBC focuses on acquisition of the desired knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to enable the learner to cope with life challenges. It also focuses on the achievement of learning outcomes in terms of the desired behavioural change," reads the Early Years Education Curriculum Facilitator's Training Manual.

The teachers also learnt how ICT integration in the teaching and learning process works, how to identify ICT resources that can be used during an ICT integrated lesson and identify factors that influence integration of ICT in a lesson.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said similar trainings will be conducted in August and December even as the Commission explores ways of using ICT to ensure continuous interaction with CBC for all teachers.

"This should be seen as a clear sign that CBC must succeed at any cost," said Mrs Macharia.

She said the main objective of the workshops is to train teachers on how to handle the CBC in order to facilitate effective implementation.

DELIVERY OF CBC

Mrs Macharia said effective delivery of curriculum requires continuous teacher professional development through innovative ways in order to match the pressure to provide access and quality education in knowledge-based societies and economies in the 21st Century.

"Clearly, we recognise that teachers are going to be vital agents in the drive to effectively implement CBC. It is why we at TSC emphasise on continuous Teacher Professional Development (TPD). We will do everything we can to ensure that teachers are prepared and ready to deliver CBC. This will include the teacher trainees in our colleges who must be prepared on the demands of the new curriculum before they graduate," she added.

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