Current Curriculum Outdated, Needs Overhaul, Education PS Says

December 3, 2015

By Magdalene Wanja, via Daily Nation

The current education curriculum is outdated and needs urgent overhaul, education PS Belio Kipsang has said.

The Ministry of Education is paying keen attention to how students should be assessed in coming years in the ongoing education curriculum reforms, he added.

Speaking in Nakuru, he said there is no option to overhauling the learning curriculum as it is outdated and has outlived its usefulness.

He termed the need to rework the curriculum as urgent, noting that this will be necessary so as to align it to the Constitution.

He spoke at Merica Hotel in Nakuru on Wednesday at the start of a two-day Conference on Education Evidence for Action.

The PS, however, said that the curriculum had served the education sector well for 13 years and a lot had changed since its adoption.

“The curriculum we have now has served us well and has been examined in the past 13 years but there is need for a relook for us to realise vision 2030,” said the Principal Secretary.

The curriculum review process involves introduction of several reforms in the assessment system.

“There is a close link between assessment and the curriculum and as we relook into the curriculum, we shall also be doing the re-evaluation and reforming the assessment system as a necessity,” he said.

Already a Bill is before Parliament seeking to scrap the 8-4-4 system.

The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill 2015 drafted by Taita Taveta MP Ms Joyce Lay proposes a 2-6-3-3-4 system which basically translates to two years of pre-primary education, six years of primary education, three years of junior secondary education and three years of senior secondary education.

The Bill also proposes a national standardised competency assessment test set by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) but administered on its behalf by county education boards during primary education at the end of three years.

This test to be used to assess literacy and numeracy competencies, communication and life skills would not, however, be used to determine access to junior secondary education.

At the ongoing education forum in Nakuru, Knec Chairman Prof Kabiru Kinyanjui said the council is working on vital changes on how assessment in the education system both in the primary and Secondary school levels should be done.

Prof Kabiru said the current system of education only encourages reading for the examinations, which has seen a number of subjects and activities that are not examined left out in the education system, since they are not tested.

This, he said, influences how teachers deliver as well as how the students learn, leaving out a wide range of skills.

“We are going to come up with more creative ways of assessment so that we do not encourage a system where whatever is tested in the examination tends to influence the teaching and learning in school,” he said.

The conference is being held to create dialogue between the research community and the stake holders within the education sector, according to the education coordinator at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) Mr Moses Ngware.

“The conference will give platform for presentation on the various research findings by the various research groups in the education sector,” he said.