The Ministry of Education has excluded Class Three pupils in the planned curriculum reforms, opting instead to introduce the new syllabus to Class One and Two students countrywide beginning this month.
The new curriculum will be implemented in phases to cover the entire pre-primary, primary and high school syllabus by 2027.
The national steering committee on curriculum reforms chaired by Education secretary Fred Matiang’i announced the changes on Wednesday.
Class One and Two will be referred to as Grade One and Grade Two as per the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC). Initial plans were that the curriculum would be implemented in Grade One to Three starting this year.
Grade One to Grade Six will constitute the current primary school, Grade Seven to Grade Nine lower secondary while Grade 10 to Grade 12 will be the equivalent of upper secondary. Pupils will sit for national examinations in Grade Nine.
Dr Matiang’i said the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has developed a road map on how the 8-4-4 will be phased out over time.
“This year, we will roll out the second phase of the piloting of Grade One and Two programme to all schools country wide,” he said.
County governments will be involved in implementation of the new pre-primary curriculum. 470 schools were selected in phase one of the piloting programme out of which five were pre-primary, five others were primary schools in each county and institutions of learners with special Education.
The selected schools were picked from public, private, rural and urban areas to represent all types of schools found in the country.
Next year, the ministry will roll out Grade Three and gradually introduce the other grades until it’s fully implemented.
The current Standard One to Form Four will be replaced with Grade 1 to Grade 12.
KICD Course Panel and Academic Committee has already approved the Pre-primary 1 and 2, Grade 1, 2 and 3 syllabus.
The new curriculum will also necessitate the abolishment of P1 training for primary school teachers and pave the way for implementation of a three-year long diploma programme.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary- general Wilson Sossion yesterday said teachers are satisfied with the plan to roll out the new curriculum gradually.
“We urge our teachers to embrace the new curriculum and our parents to also drop the anxiety they have been having over the implementation of the new curriculum,” said Mr Sossion. Knut has been opposed to implementation of the new curriculum citing capacity gaps.
Among the issues that Knut had raised were lack of enough training for all teachers, failure to engage stakeholders and lack of training materials to guide the curriculum.
On Wednesday however Mr Sossion said they are in support of the programme as long as all the issues they have raised will be addressed.
KICD council board chairman Sara Ruto said a technical team of curriculum experts drawn from different government departments lead made proposals that the steering committee viewed as critical to the successful implementation of the new curriculum.
The new curriculum has been in the works over the past three years. Wednesday’s meeting was to assess the state of preparedness towards its implementation.
The committee agreed on various proposals including a briefing of the parliamentary education committee on the curriculum, finalising sessional paper and curriculum policy, engaging with the council of governors on ways of anchoring pre-primary education within the county governments and holding a national conference on the CBC.
Kenya publishers Association chairman Lawrence Njagi said they have developed books that have been approved by KICD for use in the new curriculum.