By Anne Mwale
The Teachers Service Commission and the Ministry of Education has completed training for 4600 teachers in Nakuru County on the new curriculum.
County Director of Education, Dr William Suggut said the government will ensure that all school heads and teachers both from public and private schools are effectively trained on the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) which he said will be continuous and later incorporated in teachers training colleges’ syllabus.
“The County government of Nakuru will be involved in implementation of the new pre-primary curriculum. CBC trainings were carried out in all education zones within the devolved unit targeting three teachers per school- one for lower primary and two for Grade 4,” said Dr Suggut.
The roll out of the new curriculum, he noted was motivated by the reality that current global trends were now heavily reliant on new technological innovations that drive countries’ economies and development.
“We need a curriculum that will give our children competence-based knowledge so that the problem of joblessness is dealt with once and for all. In countries like China and Finland, where competence-based curricula were embraced long ago, children’s abilities are identified early, and development is tangible.
Kenyans cannot afford to resist change in a highly dynamic and competitive world. The new curriculum emphasizes on the 21st century skills that enhance graduates to acquire competence that will enable them to create jobs even as they seek to be employed,” stated the Director.
Kenya’s initiative to roll out Competence Based Curriculum has already received support from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNICEF) under the International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), initiative which has been organising workshops on CBC.
UNICEF has been partnering with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) and the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) in providing support for the ongoing competency-based curriculum reform on teacher education in the country.
The IICBA initiative has also provided trainings on competency-based curriculum and assessment to 47 county directors.
In phase one of the piloting programme, 470 schools were selected out of which five were pre-primary, five others were primary schools in each county and institutions of learners with special Education.
The selected schools were picked from public, private, rural and urban areas to represent all types of schools found in the country.
The new curriculum will also necessitate the abolishment of P1 training for primary school teachers and pave the way for implementation of a three-year long diploma programme.
Dr. Suggut explained that the training targets to equip teachers with knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective implementation of CBC, apply innovative tutorial approaches and models, demonstrate competencies in assessment and be self-reflective, self-improving and supportive of learners.
According to the Early Years Education Curriculum Facilitator’s Training Manual prepared by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) core competencies that basic learners should acquire include communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, learning to learn, and self-efficacy.
The teachers are also being taught to integrate ICT into learning. The new curriculum will be implemented in phases to cover the entire pre-primary, primary and high school syllabus by 2027.
Dr Suggut assured that as the government implements the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) it will also addresses the challenges identified by stakeholders. He said CBC had been crafted to promote critical thinking, innovation and problem-solving.
Class One and Two will be referred to as Grade One and Grade Two as per the CBC.
Grade One to Grade Six will constitute the current primary school, Grade Seven to Grade Nine lower secondary, while Grade 10 to Grade 12 will be the equivalent of upper secondary. Pupils will sit for national examinations in Grade Nine.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has developed a road map on how the 8-4-4 will be phased out over time.