Ignore naysayers, our teachers have all the knowledge on new syllabus, Kenyans told
Reports of teachers not being conversant with the new education curriculum are misplaced, a heads summit was told yesterday.
At the same time, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) cautioned teachers and parents against using unapproved books in the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
The institute blamed the books for the inappropriate learning content that was widely shared on social and mainstream media recently.
“We have developed curriculum for the entire primary school cycle up to Grade Six. You may have heard some people saying teachers do not understand the CBC, that they don’t understand certain aspects of the curriculum,” KICD chief executive officer Charles Ong’ondo said during the ongoing 17th Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha) annual delegates conference at Sheikh Zayed Children Welfare Centre in Mombasa county.
“How can people involved in the development of a project fail to understand it?”
Prof Ong’ondo accused unnamed individuals and teachers union officials of unnecessarily resisting the implementation of the curriculum.
“These people do not know that it is the teacher who develops the curriculum and support materials. We cannot accuse ourselves of not knowing what we have developed,” he said.
He added that Kepsha is represented by law in the KICD Council, “which is the topmost decision-making organ that approves the curriculum”.
“Your chairperson, Johnson Nzioka, is a member of the KICD Council. If he were to register an objection to a curriculum or curriculum design, it will not see the light of the day. We are together in this. We must defend our curriculum,” he added.
Prof Ong’ondo said Kenya has approved a homegrown curriculum for the first time in the country’s history and he urged stakeholders to support it.
The Ministry of Education is building classrooms at selected public primary schools ahead of the junior secondary rollout.
Prof Ong’ondo said Kenyans were not involved in developing the 7-4-6-3 system of education when the country attained independence in 1963, adding that Kenya copy-pasted it from the British curriculum.
Even the 8-4-4 system adopted in 1985 was not homegrown, he said.
Prof Ong’ondo said 7-4-6-3 system was a workforce curriculum.
“It was intended to give us people who would work in offices as the country agitated for independence. However, 8-4-4 was intended to be a technical curriculum. Unfortunately, we lost it and made it a complete knowledge examination curriculum,” Prof Ong’ondo said.
The KICD chief added that CBC books developed by the institute are approved by teachers.
“We have a one-to-one book ratio in learning areas up to Grade Five. Unless for weather reasons or inaccessibility challenges, you may be asked to take them from sub-county directors but transporters must ferry the materials to every school as per the policy of the government,” he told the heads.
Prof Ong’ondo said any teaching and learning material without a KICD approval tag is illegal.
The headteachers were informed that sourcing unauthorised CBC materials and examination papers is illegal.
Prof Ong’ondo said the material and examination papers must have a stamp approval by his institute.
“Even as we want to promote entrepreneurs bringing juicy materials and examination papers to schools, they must get a statement approval from the KICD,” he insisted.
“We have on many occasions been accused of putting materials out there that may be inaccurate in terms of facts, not consistent with the values we preach or those that are not consistent with curriculum designs. Some of those materials have not been through our hands. Be on the lookout and call us in case of anything.”
Prof Ong’ondo said KICD recently unearthed a syndicate publishing and selling illegal curriculum designs.