The government has back-tracked on its decision to postpone the roll-out of the new curriculum to 2020.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed Saturday announced that the new curriculum will now be rolled in January next year, and not in 2020 as had agreed last week in Nairobi by the curriculum national steering committee meeting that she chaired at the Kenya institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
The committee agreed that the piloting of the curriculum continues in 2019. Previously, the roll-out had been scheduled in 2019 but was moved forward after Ms Mohamed told the Senate committee on education two weeks ago that the country was not ready.
In a statement Saturday, Ms Mohamed said the ministry will commence a methodical and carefully organised phased roll-out of the competency based curriculum effective in pre-primary I and II and Grades 1, 2 and 3.
“Early in the New Year, the Ministry of Education will issue a detailed roll-out plan and timetable for the other grades that will lead to the last cohort of pupils sitting for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2023 and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2027,” said Ms Mohamed.
She said stakeholders will put in place structures to support a national roll-out and map out clear systems and processes.
The ministry, she said, will continue with training of teachers and completion, approval and presentation of the statutory instruments, among others.
The development of an assessment framework for PPI to grade 3 will be done by March 2019 while preparation for curriculum design for Class Four will be done by April.
She added the national secretariat to steer the curriculum will be inaugurated and production and dissemination of requisite learning and instruction materials to support it made.
“The ministry will also facilitate continued public participation on education reforms. The reforms are part of a wider government determination to ensure a bold, transformative agenda for a better Kenya,” said the CS.
Ms Mohamed Saturday noted the decision to roll-out the curriculum next year was after consultation with stakeholders including faith based organisations, KICD, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA), Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha), Kenya Primary School Heads Sssociation (Kepsha) and the National Parents Association.
However, the roll-out could run into trouble since there is no National Curriculum Policy framework and the Sessional Paper on Curriculum Reforms Education and Training, which are yet to be tabled before Parliament.
This means that it will be an illegal exercise unless Parliament approves the sessional paper and policy before January 2 when schools will be re-opening.
A report by the national external evaluator which was released last week indicated that teachers were ill-trained and the country needed Sh365 billion for the first four years.
A dedicated fund for teacher training was also to be factored in the 2019/2020 and 2020/21 financial years.
External evaluators led by former Moi University vice-chancellor Prof Laban Ayiro poked holes in the whole review process.
Some of the issues that emerged were; there was inadequate alignment between the CBC formulation, teacher capacity development, selection and supply of learning materials and assessment. These led to inadequate coordination and ad hoc workshops in place of teacher training compounded by absence of relevant CBC materials.
The external evaluators also pointed out that the curriculum was poorly planned and hastily introduced in schools and the process did not carefully consider resource constraints and was not given the necessary strategic interventions at the inception stage.
Prof Ayiro's team also recommended reorganisation and reinforcement of curriculum functions both in the ministry and its relevant state agencies.
On Saturday, KPA supported the decision by Ms Mohamed.
“From the onset, we wish to confirm that KPA has been an active partner and participant in the journey towards the achievement of education reforms in the country. We confirm we have been in regular consultative meetings with the minister,” said chairman Lawrence Njagi in a statement.