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170,000 teachers to be trained on new system

More than 170,000 teachers will undergo a comprehensive training ahead of implementation of the new curriculum in January, next year.

The teachers targeted are those handling early years of education Pre-Primary 1 and 2 and Grade 1, 2 and 3, where the first phase of learning under the Competency Based Curriculum will begin.

“This term, based on our evaluation report, we cast the net wider to accommodate more teachers because the feedback, so far, on the 2-6-3-3 system of education, is positive,” the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) director Dr Julius Jwan said in Nairobi.

The trainings will be conducted in November and December, when schools close for holidays. Already 2,000 teachers from 470 pilot schools have taken part in the trainings spearheaded by KICD experts and Curriculum Support Officers (CSOs) mainly drawn from the county education offices.

Dr Jwan said printing of teacher’s guides, handbooks and pupils’ workbooks for distribution to pupils including those with special needs, has been finalised. “The curriculum support materials will enrich teaching and learning.

A teacher will facilitate learning by focusing more on what learners can perform and not just what they can remember,” he said. Dr Jwan said the new curriculum emphasises on the 21st Century skills that enhance graduates to acquire competences that will enable them to create jobs even as they seek to be employed.

The review of the current 8-4-4 system of education, he observed, was informed by a needs assessment that indicated that the system had become unpopular because it was examination oriented at the expense of other education needs.

“The curriculum designs developed for teaching and learning respond to emerging national and global education needs while inculcating best values in the learners,” said Jwan.

Senior Deputy Director for Curriculum and Research Services Jacqueline Onyango said the curriculum designs that have been developed are comprehensive after they were revised to include emerging issues meant to improve learning.

“The curriculum designs provide suggested learning activities, teaching methodology, assessment, resources and time required to cover various topics, thus giving guidance for planning of lessons,” Mrs. Onyango said.

“The methodology of undertaking the activities, resources required and the time the activities will take, must be clear in the curriculum designs,” Mrs Onyango said.

Parents, she added, will also be actively involved in monitoring the education of their children especially when the learners are away from school to ensure they continuously practice what they learn.

“Competencies cannot be demonstrated in school alone. A lot of learning takes place out of schools even when pupils are in their normal social and cultural environment. The real-life experiences are critical for development of competences,” she said.

The gradual implementation of the curriculum, she said, has enabled KICD to monitor different stages to identify areas that need further fine tuning. Mrs Onyango said monitoring and evaluation is a critical component of curriculum development as it provides critical information relating to the experiences of different players during implementation.

“We take feedback seriously. The information we gather is invaluable in making improvements, thus enhancing and maintaining the quality of teaching and learning.”

“The curriculum that will be finally adopted for use in our schools must provide the opportunities learners need to develop the relevant competences to become productive members of our society” Mrs Onyango said.

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