2-6-6-3 system faces hitches as schools resume

Seth Onyango and Harrison Kivisu @PeopleDailyKe

Uncertainty surrounded the expected roll-out of the new education curriculum yesterday even as stakeholders in the sector are set to meet today over the matter. Inadequate preparations and lack of learning materials was reported in schools that opened yesterday even as more institutions are expected to open today.

A spot check by People Daily revealed that the implementation of the 2-6-6-3 education curriculum, expected to address shortcomings of 8-4-4 system, is yet to take shape.

Though there was no word from the Ministry of Education by the time of going to press, reports indicated that Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i had been in a closed-door meeting with officials from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) over the matter.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion has been advocating for postponement of the rollout to 2019. Sossion has argued that teachers are not ready for the rollout since the training period offered by the government was not enough.

In a recent press conference, Sossion said 2018 should instead be used for piloting of the curriculum, adequate preparation of teachers and testing of learning materials.

In Mombasa, the planned launch of the curriculum failed to take off as schools reopened for term one in what education stakeholders attributed to “delayed release of teaching materials by the government.”

Teachers from various schools in the Coast region waited for the release of the new syllabus, according to a directive issued by Matiang’i, to no avail. In Burhaniya Primary School, teachers of Grade one and Grade two, who were trained ahead of the roll-out, asked the government to expedite the release of the new design to facilitate teaching activities.

“We are well trained for the curriculum but the government is yet to provide the syllabus. We are also waiting for books to start teaching the new syllabus,” said Mary Tabu, a teacher at the school.

The new system has been categorised into three phases, Early Years Education covering nursery education to Grade three, Middle School Education covering Grade four to Grade nine and Senior School covering grades 10 to 12.

Principals and headteachers have already undergone induction training on Competency Based Curriculum in preparation. The new curriculum places emphasis on Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) over final exams. This year’s expected roll-out will cover nursery, Standard One, Two and Three. The government intends to abolish the 8-4-4 system of education which was established in 1985.

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