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December 11, 2018

New learning system in disarray, lack of training, materials cited

Teacher Lynette Akinyi and pupils at Senator Obama Primary School in Kogelo in July 16, 2015 /REUTERS
Teacher Lynette Akinyi and pupils at Senator Obama Primary School in Kogelo in July 16, 2015 /REUTERS

The new curriculum is in confusion for lack of materials, shortage of teachers and shallow teacher training, stakeholders have said.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development said more time is required to streamline the 

education sector.

“Some schools have received teaching materials. The process is ongoing. Others will get books in due course,” KICD director Julius Jwan told the Star on Sunday

Read: It’s all systems go for new curriculum

Piloting of the 2-6-3-3-3 model started nationwide last month and is intended to phase out the 8-4-4 system in 10 years.

It places emphasis on formative years of learning, where students will spend eight years — two in pre-primary and six in primary.

The pilot covers two years of pre-primary and three years of lower primary education. So far, education stakeholders — teachers, parents and school management — are engaged in a blame game over halting implementation.

 won’t provide books

Some schools are yet to receive teaching materials, leaving teachers confused. A number of schools have reverted to the old syllabus.

KICD is supposed to supply the curriculum design to all public and private schools to guide teachers on how students ought to be taught, but it was not required to provide schools with new approved textbooks.

“The only book KICD was required to distribute was the grade three mathematics books, as part of a project between the government and the World Bank,” Jwan said.

Other books were to be purchased by the Education ministry under the new book distribution policy.

The government is distributing the textbooks directly to schools, meaning school heads will no longer receive money to buy them as under the old arrangement.

The institute relies on four printing firms to publish curriculum designs.

Jwan said the printing materials are exhausted afterthe bulk printing of new curriculum materials.

“We have four major printing firms in the country. Since printing of the new curriculum began, the materials they use have been depleted. Things are a little slow since the paper used in the printing is mainly imported,” he said.

He said paper for printing textbooks  might take longer to arrive.

But national chairman of the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association Shem Ndolo told the Star on Sunday that school heads have not complained about lack of of teaching materials. “My school and those around us have already received materials for the new curriculum,” he said.

 CEO Kenya Private Schools Association Peter Ndoro disagrees  with the idea that new books are the main tool for proper teaching ofthe new curriculum.

Curriculum design is the backbone of competence in the rollout, he said, adding that the content in lower primary classes remains the same.

“The only thing changing is how teachers will teach, not how students learn,” he said.

  Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion emphasises that more time for training teachers on the new curriculum is required to get 

things right.

   Sossion said the month-long training held in December last year was too shallow for a paradigm shift, and most teachers do not understand the new teaching procedure.

  “Training is sensitive and ought to be deep and continuous. It should be similar to college training to enable teachers to fully understand the curriculum,” he said.

  However, Jwan said the 2017 training was basic induction that will be followed by a programme by the Teachers Service Commission.

Also read: New 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum: How different is it from the 8-4-4 system?

 

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