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New curriculum on hold due to teacher training, infrastructure

Tuesday December 11 2018

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed 

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed when she faced the Senate Education committee for discussions on the implementation of the new curriculum, December 11, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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The government has, for the second time, postponed the implementation of the new curriculum, which had been set for January for nursery to Standard Three.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced this on Tuesday without specifying the date of the rollout.

"LITTLE DISCOMFORT"

The push means that millions of pupils in lower classes, who have been learning under the 2-6-3-3-3 system, will revert to the 8-4-4 system next year.

The learning materials which parents bought in anticipation of the new system will likely go to waste.

The rollout was initially postponed after education stakeholders raised various concerns.

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This time round, the CS said, "We have put the rollout on hold to allow development of infrastructure."

TRAINING

While facing the Senate Education committee, she added that there is need to train teachers on what will be expected of them.

Some 79,000 teachers in 1,168 zones across the country have been trained.

Ms Mohamed said, “The worst thing that can happen is for us to roll out something we are not all comfortable with. [This is especially in the case of parents] ... it is their children who are being introduced to a new curriculum. A little discomfort is acceptable but huge discomfort is unacceptable."

CONTRADICTION

Ms Mohamed's remarks contradicted those of Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, who indicated last Thursday the government was ready to launch the competence-based curriculum (CBC).

Dr Kipsang pointed out, however, that the project must be well thought out.

The CS further told the legislators that the ministry was yet to receive a report on the level of preparedness from the system's external evaluator.

Ms Mohamed noted the reports of internal and external evaluators are vital as they will set the pace for talks at the national conference, during which the ministry will acquaint the nation with the alignment of all components critical to the success of the new system.

HOPE

The minister explained that the system was well-conceived as it takes into account the multiplicity of the abilities, interests and talents of children, which it seeks to identify and nurture to the fullest possible extent.

Ms Mohamed told the committee that the indicators so far are on aspects the ministry can build on.

The preliminary report placed the overall quality of the CBC's implementation, based on international benchmarks, at 56 percent.

The minimum threshold for global standards for such an exercise is 50 percent.

The CS said the ministry wishes to triangulate the internal findings with those of international experts to ensure utmost preparedness.

She commissioned an external evaluation to generate comparative findings on the state of preparedness for a full CBC rollout.