8-4-4 review open for public views - Daily Nation

8-4-4 review open for public views

Wednesday October 21 2015

A student holding a KCSE paper. Kenyans will from Friday have a chance to present their views on whether the 8-4-4 system of education should be overhauled. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A student holding a KCSE paper. Kenyans will from Friday have a chance to present their views on whether the 8-4-4 system of education should be overhauled. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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Kenyans will from Friday have a chance to present their views on whether the 8-4-4 system of education should be overhauled.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) will launch the review.

“We are starting off with a needs assessment and it is the stakeholders who will decide what they want the new curriculum to look like,” KICD Director Julius Jwan said yesterday.

However, Dr Jwan said the review would focus on academics, vocational training and talent development.

“We want to focus more on what students can demonstrate. National values aspects will also be captured in the new curriculum,” he said.

OTHER ENGAGEMENTS

He said several other engagements had been lined up for the curriculum review after tomorrow’s stakeholders’ meeting.

At the same time, Dr Jwan said the system of student evaluation by the Kenya National Examinations Council would also be modified in line with the new curriculum.

The 8-4-4 system has been criticised for allegedly encouraging rote learning in schools.

A task force chaired by former Moi University vice-chancellor Douglas Odhiambo has proposed a raft of drastic changes that could see the 8-4-4 education system replaced.

In its 2012 report, the team proposes a 2-6-3-3-3 system, which, if adopted, would create four different types of secondary schools.

A pupil will be expected to do two years of pre-school, six years of primary, three years in junior secondary, three years in senior secondary and three years at the university.

Uwezo Kenya country coordinator John Mugo said the current curriculum “promotes and glorifies mastery of contents at the expense of everything else”.

'GRADUATES LACK SKILLS'

Dr Mugo added: “Our Kenyan graduates lack skills and competence for work. The focus on content has led to systematic disregard for skills and attitudes.”

He noted that most graduates could not solve problems because the curriculum provides for too little thinking and application.

“Rather than the curriculum driving the assessment, we have an examination system that now determines what children learn,” he said.

Kenya Publishers Association chairman David Waweru said the delay in reforming the curriculum was affecting the quality of education.

Mr Waweru said the current curriculum was last reviewed in 2002.

“Since then, there have been major changes in our society — politically, socially, culturally and economically. We have a new Constitution. Yet, our school curriculum and hence the education system do not reflect these changes,” he said.