Education CS Amina Mohamed has defended the implementation of the new school curriculum.
She said the 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum, which will replace the 32-year-old, 8-4-4 system, couldn’t wait longer.
The system was piloted in 470 schools — 10 per county — and was to continue until 2020, something the CS clarified amid opposition to the plan.
Various stakeholders, among them the Kenya National Union of Teachers, opposed the move and sought more time for the rollout of the new system.
Meeting after meeting between the ministry and the concerned parties resulted in a deadlock.
Stakeholders cited inadequate alignment between the formulation of the curriculum, teacher training needs, selection, and supply of learning materials, and assessment. Amina later announced that the pilot would continue ‘to allow more time for in-service teacher training.’
But on December 22, Amina declared the curriculum would kick off as soon as schools opened in January.
The competency-based curriculum became effective January 1 in Pre-Primary I and II as well as Grades 1, 2, and 3. Under the new curriculum, pre-primary has five lessons and seven lessons in grades one to three per day.
In an exclusive interview with a local daily, Amina denied claims that she bulldozed education stakeholders into accepting the decision.
“It was not a decision that was made by me. It was a decision that was made by the steering committee,” she said.
“We had commissioned reports. An internal and external report that were both tabled with the committee highlighting the government’s readiness to proceed with the plan,” she said.
The CS added that in the next three months, she hopes that Parliament will have ratified the policy guiding the implementation.
“We have already published the policy paper. The Sessional paper is already in Parliament and we hope that MPs will give us a date to discuss it.”
The CS added that she has directed Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to ensure designs for Grade 4 is in place by March or April.
“We want this done so that publishers can start printing the books. The Kenya National Examinations Council is already working on the assessment framework. They have a deadline of up to March,” she said.
Amina said the roll-out plan was hampered by cash constraints but the government, after negotiations with the ministry, agreed to release more money.