Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has urged Kenyans to ignore criticism of education reforms ahead of piloting in 470 schools.
KICD Director Julius Jwan has said the proposed curriculum is ambitious, futuristic and in tune with the education direction the world is taking.
“Many countries have adopted such a competency-based and learner-focussed curriculum approach, which is one of the education reforms envisaged to make the country’s education system more globally competitive,” he said.
Dr Jwan said the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF) was developed in a participatory and inclusive manner, with engagement of both local and international partners.
He told Kenyans that there is still room for fine-tuning areas where they feel need more input before it is endorsed to replace the current 8-4-4 system.
“The move to stagger implementation of the proposed curriculum and pilot it in some schools countrywide was deliberately meant to provide room for further scrutiny, to ensure the final product is universally acceptable,” he said.
Dr Jwan said that the pilot schools will be supplied with curriculum designs, teachers’ guides and pupils’ books that will be used in the programme.
The proposed curriculum replaces the current Standard One to Form Four with Grade 1 to Grade 12.
In the new curriculum, learners will take two years in pre-school education and two years of primary education.
So far, close to 2,000 teachers from all 47 counties are being trained on the new syllabus.
The syllabus was developed by a team of experts that relied on a needs assessment study conducted countrywide.
The needs assessment study on Early Childhood Development, Primary and Secondary Education, including special-needs education, was undertaken in January 2016 and the the findings were disseminated at a national conference on March 30 last year.
The proposed Basic Education Curriculum Framework was presented to stakeholders for adoption on January 30, following which the curriculum designs were formulated.
The KICD Course Panel and Academic Committee has already approved the Pre-primary 1 and 2, Grade 1, 2 and 3 for use in the pilot.
Out of the 470 schools, five are pre-primary, five other primary schools in each county and institutions of learners with special needs.
The selected schools were classified from public, private, rural and urban, representing the types of schools found in the country.
The pilot phase was presided over by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at a meeting on April 21 last year attended by headteachers of the selected schools.