Harrison Kivisu and Reuben Mwambingu @PeopleDailyKe
Confusion on the rollout of the Competence Based Curriculum has left parents in a dilemma, with most of them opting to buy old curriculum textbooks as schools reopened last week.
At bookshops in Mombasa last week, parents were purchasing the old syllabus books for Grades 1-3 owing to the uncertainty and shortage of the new learning materials.
Amina Juma of the Nyaboka School in Mombasa said some the new learning materials for the new curriculum of Grade Three pupils were unavailable in bookshops so she opted to buy the 8-4-4 syllabus textbooks. “Schools have not even bothered to issue lists of learning materials we should buy and we are now confused,” said Mary.
The roll-out of the new programme had been put on hold to give room for more preparations and training of teachers, but Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed says implementation starts this month.
The CS announced that pupils in Grade Three will go back to the normal system and join Class Four until the roll out is finalised. But while speaking during a live TV interview a week ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the roll out of the new curriculum will go on as earlier scheduled.
The postponement had earlier been met with dismay from parents whose children were part of the rollout. At Khadija Primary School, one of the largest public primary schools in Mombasa with a population of over 800 pupils, headteacher Johnson Kibuga said learning in Pre-Primaries as well as Grades 1 to 3 will continue under the new syllabus.
He expressed fear that transition to Grade Four class could hit a snag following inadequate preparations.He cited lack of relevant learning materials anchored on the new curriculum an lack of training for Grade Four teachers to prepare for the new system as frustrating the process.
“We were expecting Grade Three pupils to continue on the old syllabus but as it appears, they could be stuck. We foresee a challenge and we will be forced to continue with the 8.4.4 system in Class Four,” said Kibuga, who is also Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Mombasa branch chairman.
At Kongowea Primary School with a population of 1, 574 students. Senior teacher Fanuel Hirbae decried lack of training for Grade Four teachers as well as shortages of textbooks.