Knut makes U-turn on boycott of new curriculum talks

Monday July 15 2019

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion. He has directed executive secretaries across the country to participate in the new curriculum reforms talks that started on July 15, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has directed its 110 executive secretaries across the country to participate in the new curriculum reforms talks that started on Monday.

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said the forums will enable teachers to articulate their positions on the curriculum review process.

The teachers' lobby had earlier threatened to boycott the talks.


Mr Sossion noted, however, that this participation does not amount to an endorsement as it is aimed at highlighting the union's concerns on the new system that was rolled out this year for Pre-Primary 1 to Grade 3.

“We will be in those forums to tell the country that the new curriculum will not work unless we follow the right procedures,” he said.


The Knut boss said a stop to the implementation process will go a long way in addressing the concerns Knut has raised and pertinent issues contained in Prof Laban Ayiro's report.

“The evaluation findings by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in June 2019 indicate that implementation of the competency-based curriculum is a total fop. No amount of massaging or miracle will ever make it work," he said.


Mr Sossion also pointed out that as long as professional steps of reviewing and implementing a curriculum are ignored and experts excluded from the process, no major reforms will ever be realised.

He complained that teachers, being principal implementers of the curriculum, have effectively been locked out of the education reform process.

“The ministry, for unexplained reasons, has also excluded renowned curriculum development experts and instead nominated outsiders and other busy-bodies to sit in the taskforce at the expense of serious minds that can effectively ensure professional input,” Mr Sossion said.

“The taskforce and the purported forums are designed to rubber-stamp process to placate Kenyans about public participation," he said and emphasised that "Knut has therefore not softened its stance towards the push to suspend the CBC roll-out".


The exercise was launched on Monday in Nakuru by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.

It aims to enable Kenyans give their views on the new curriculum that has replaced the 8-4-4 system of education.

The ministry also used the opportunity to launch critical findings of five studies on monitoring learner achievements (MLA) conducted by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) for primary and secondary schools.

Knut had earlier insisted that the implementation of new curriculum be suspended until 2024 to allow time for talks.

The union had also proposed a four-pronged approach of implementation of the new curriculum and which could have seen piloting continue in 2020 and 2021 while formative, internal summative and external summative evaluation reports be concluded by 2023 to allow for national implementation of the revised curriculum in 2024.

However, Prof Magoha maintained that the exercise will go ahead with stakeholders input incorporated along the way.