End of 8-4-4 nears as 2-6-6-3 curriculum training kicks off

End of 8-4-4 nears as 2-6-6-3 curriculum training kicks off

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has kicked off 2-6-6-3 curriculum training. Today, Monday – a move that signals the end of the 8-4-4 education system in Kenya.

Some 1,888 teachers have been selected from across the 47 counties for initial training and curriculum developers have already been dispatched to the counties with the teaching material.

“We have ensured that no player in the education sector is left behind. For the first time, even those with special needs are working on the curriculum on their own to ensure it meets their needs,” KICD director, Dr Julius Jwan said in a circular sent to newsroom dated 14 May.

There will be between 80 to 100 teachers per class, and 1,150 field officers from the Ministry of Education will also be part of the training on the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF).

Teachers from Nairobi and Kajiado counties will converge at the KICD headquarters on Monday and Tuesday for the sessions.

The teachers will be expected to start teaching the curriculum in selected schools for the pilot classes on May 29, and the outcomes of this roll out will be used in the  fine tuning of the curriculum ahead of the scheduled roll out in all schools in January 2018.

The proposed 2-6-6-3 curriculum is based on a needs assessment conducted by the institute that was presented at the National Conference on Curriculum Reforms that culminated into a major conference in January to deliberate on the matter.

The implementation process of the proposed curriculum is staggered, with the focus now being on the early years, the two years of pre-school education, and the first two years of primary education.

The 8-4-4 system has been criticized for being overly examination-oriented, with focus being zeroed in on Class Eight and Form Four exit exams.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i announced the introduction of new curriculum in 2016, noting that there is need to focus on holistic development of learners rather than concentrating on their ability to reproduce information in examinations.

Members of the public have been encouraged to volunteer their views to enrich the system that is one of the education reforms envisaged to make the country’s education system more globally competitive.

“We will be getting feedback as we go along. This will help us improve the process and will determine the way forward,” Dr Jwan said in response to those with information they want to share.

The KICD boss added that curriculum support officers in the counties have been incorporated in the program that will allow teachers to compare the current system with the new one.

“This is not going to be a dead end. It will be a continuous process. The process is very inclusive and entails professionals from all the education players,” he said.

Dr Jwan said the development of the curriculum is guided by the national goals of education, which recognize the need to have international consciousness embedded in learning to ensure Kenyans fit into the global arena.