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Secondary schools new curriculum task force runs for a year

 George Magoha
Education Secretary George Magoha. There is controversy about the start of secondary school learning. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Education ministry has picked a 25-member team to guide secondary schools into the new Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

The Task force on implementation of CBC chaired by Fatuma Chege, the Kenyatta University deputy chancellor for administration, has up to June next year to determine at what point learners join secondary schools.

Education Secretary George Magoha – who had initially dismissed preparedness questions raised by teacher unions — said the team named on Friday will lay ground for resolution of key issues facing CBC that is gradually replacing the 8-4-4 system.

The State 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.

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

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“The team will undertake broad stakeholder engagement, review literature and identify international best practices with a view to preparing a comprehensive adviser report on domiciling of Grade 7, 8 and 9 within Basic Education,” reads part of the team’s term of reference published in the Gazette notice.

The report will also include a working framework for the national and county governments in implementation of pre-primary education which is under the 47 devolved units.

Under the new syllabus pre-primary One and Two and Grades One to 12 have replaced Early Childhood Development (ECD) to Class Eight under 8-4-4 system that started in 1984.

Experts had last month said that start of secondary school is critical to determining the calibre of teachers required given present secondary school tutors will be forced to downgrade to primary schools if grade nine is retained at primary level.

If grade nine is adopted as part of secondary school, primary teachers will need to be trained afresh for the new responsibilities with Prof Magoha supporting inclusion of Grade Nine as part of secondary education.

“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 last month.

The government started piloting CBC in 2017 in a gradual phase-out of the 8-4-4 system- blamed for 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 skills development in their early stages occasioning the need to re-train teachers.

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