Kenya: Universities Move to Align Training Modules With New Curriculum

Universities have begun the process of reviewing their training modules for the bachelor's degree programme in education to align it with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

The reviews aim to equip universities with what it needs to produce teachers with the requisite skills and competencies relevant under the new curriculum currently been rolled out in the country.

The process of aligning the teacher training curriculum in universities is being spearheaded by the University of Nairobi, Pwani University and Strathmore University, which are working jointly with the University of Helsinki and Laurea University of Applied sciences, in Finland.

This collaboration has been made possible by the Training for Trainers for Teacher Education and management in Kenya (Totemk) project funded by the Ministry of foreign affairs and the Finnish government.

The project will train lecturers in these universities, who will, in turn, be involved in revising the current teacher training curriculum in other universities across the country. In Kenya, there are 17 universities which offer degrees in education.

During a recent virtual three-day conference hosted by the Strathmore University, Ministry of Education advisor to the cabinet secretary on competency based curriculum, David Njeng'ere, said that as universities train teachers, they need to contextualise the importance of the CBC.

Transitioning to universities

Currently, the teacher training modules being given to university students pursuing a degree in education have not been aligned with the new curriculum. Commission for University Education (CUE) head of research and development, Prof Jackson Too, said the commission is ready to work with universities to redesign the curriculum.

Under the new curriculum, students will transition to universities and colleges at Grade 11. The 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum, which replaces the 8-4-4 system of education, was rolled out in January 2017.

Under the Totemk project, the universities are working jointly with government officials to strengthen the capacity of teacher education and institutional management in Kenya, and get more teachers for the labour market competent to deliver the competency based curriculum.

The project will be delivered in four phases, embracing 21st century teaching and learning skills and will use modern technologies to enhance learning besides integrating social cultural issues in their teaching and learning process.

University of Helsinki's Dr Saija Karppinen, said the first phase is expected to run from April to July this year. The long-term impact of the project will be to strengthen capacity of the three Kenyan higher education institutions before rolling out to the other institutions that offer degrees in education - Prof Karppinen said that by the end of the training, the teachers will be able to use blended learning and teaching methods and other digital tools in teaching.

The teachers will also be expected to become good instructors and facilitators with up to date learning methods.

Curriculum reforms

"My expectation is that the Totemk project will create a path towards an excellent and continuous global collaboration," added the professor.

The project will offer training modules on online teaching and curriculum reforms. The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of teacher education and institutional management in the country and to get more teachers competent to deliver the CBC.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, KICD, Senior Deputy Director in-charge of Curriculum Development, Jacqueline Onyango, said teacher trainers should be competent, and called on universities to run with speed and start redesigning their curriculum.

"The teachers being trained should be able to understand the new curriculum, therefore their training manuals should be aligned with the CBC," she said.

The Ministry of Education has so far developed a new curriculum for teacher training colleges, which will be rolled out this month - Ms Onyango said KICD has developed a pathway under the new curriculum, which includes, a diploma in pre-primary teacher education, diploma in teacher education, diploma in technical teacher education, diploma in special needs teacher education and Bachelor's Degree in teacher education.

fnyamai@ke.nationmedia.com

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