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Economy

No date yet for secondary schools under new system

 George Magoha
Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A decision is yet to be made on when learners will join secondary school under the newly launched Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

The government is yet to decide whether the 11 years of schooling or grade nine under the new 2-6-3-3-3 system will be part of primary or secondary education.

At present, primary school ends in the 10th year of school or class eight under the 8-4-4 curriculum that was introduced in 1984 and is gradually being phased out.

Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha Thursday said he will appoint a taskforce to guide the government on when secondary schooling should start.

The start of secondary school is critical in determining the calibre of teachers required given present secondary school tutors will forced to downgrade to primary schools if grade nine is retained at primary level.

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And if grade 9 is adopted as part of secondary school primary teachers will need to be trained afresh for the new responsibilities.

“I have to be convinced as a person that it is good to keep the children in primary for nine years, we are still engaging and interests of the learners must be considered,” Prof Magoha said yesterday.

The government introduced the new curriculum on pilot basis in 2017 as part of phasing out the 8-4-4 system that has been blamed for its exam-oriented approach and not giving the learners the necessary skills for the job market in the 21st century.

The 2-6-3-3-3 focuses more on skill-development of the learners in their early stages occasioning the need to re-train teachers to handle the new subjects that place more emphasis on practicals.

The new system has pre-primary One and Two and Grades One to 12 that replace Early Childhood Development (ECD) to Class Eight under 8-4-4 system.

The decision on the entry year for secondary level is the latest hitch facing the new curriculum at the back of a shortage of books and fears that there are not enough teachers trained ahead of its roll-out.

Nearly 91, 000 teachers have been trained and at least 12 million copies for Grades One, Two and Three delivered in schools this year.

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