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New syllabus on amid legal hitch

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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The rollout comes at a time when stakeholders have demanded that the government addresses concerns they raised ahead of the syllabus launch.
  • The concerns include inadequate alignment between the formulation of the curriculum, teachers capacity development, selection and supply of learning materials and assessment.
  • Legally, a sessional paper on changing the 8-4-4 system, which was launched in 1984, must be passed by Parliament

The government says it will roll out the new curriculum Thursday amid concern by education stakeholders on teacher preparedness and the legality of the new syllabus.

On Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed insisted that the government is ready to roll out the curriculum and will supply books to all public schools in time.

“The ministry and KICD (Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development) will ensure that course books and teachers’ guides are available in schools on time,” she said. On Monday, the KICD advertised tenders inviting publishers whose books have been approved to print, package and distribute course materials for the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) for Grades 1, 2 and 3. The publishers are supposed to send sealed bids by January 22. Players in the publishing industry said books will land in schools in February at the earliest.

This will put students in public schools at a disadvantage given that those in private schools can buy them in bookshops. The rollout comes at a time when stakeholders have demanded that the government addresses concerns they raised ahead of the syllabus launch.

The concerns include inadequate alignment between the formulation of the curriculum, teachers capacity development, selection and supply of learning materials and assessment.

Legally, a sessional paper on changing the 8-4-4 system, which was launched in 1984, must be passed by Parliament

Ms Mohammed presented the paper to Parliament last week. It is expected to be given priority in February when MPs report from recess. Ms Amina said she has the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta and relevant government agencies will accord them the support necessary to implement the curriculum. “We will not tolerate any excuses in the implementation of the CBC, we must succeed,” said the CS.

Further, Ms Mohamed announced a countrywide monitoring exercise to ensure smooth implementation of the syllabus as the government makes final preparations to roll it.

According to the CS, a communication plan that will provide regular updates on implementation has been developed. “A special desk and call centre will be established at the KICD to respond to public inquiries,” she said.