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August 21, 2018

Private school teachers trained on new curriculum

Pupils singing during a class at the Kencada School. /FILE
Pupils singing during a class at the Kencada School. /FILE

The Private Schools Association has kicked off the training of teachers from private schools on how best to teach the competency based curriculum.

Over 3,400 teachers drawn from schools in Nairobi, Kiambu and Kajiado underwent the training in Nairobi on Wednesday.

KPSA chief executive Peter Ndoro said the training focuses on creativity and imagination.

"The teachers are being trained on how to bring out the creativity and imagination in our children. We are also training on the different teaching styles and inclusive education on how to deal with talented gifted children and those with special needs," Ndoro said.

The training is being rolled out in partnership with Longhorn Publishers, one of the publishers contracted by the government to print competency based books for public primary schools.

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

Two teachers are picked from every school for the training - one for pre-unit and one for lower primary.

The training comes as confusion continues to mar the teaching of the new curriculum in public primary schools due to insufficient training of teachers.

During the launch of the new curriculum on January 4, the then Education CS Fred Matiang’i said only 170,000 teachers had been trained to pilot the system in grades 1 and 2 across 33,000 public and private primary schools.

The teachers are not enough considering the competency based system requires a teacher to handle only a small number of pupils at a time.

Some public schools received teaching materials as late as yesterday when the text book distribution exercise came to an end.

Ndoro said other than Longhorn, they will also work with other approved publishers in training teachers across the country.

"Even if your material is approved but does not meet the quality and standards of the private sector, we will not partner with them," Ndoro warned.

He said the training will move to Eldoret, Kisumu, Meru, Nyeri, Kakamega and Nakuru in the next coming days.

Also read: New curriculum doomed as teachers confused - Kuppet

Ndoro said the association is still consolidating orders from private schools before presenting the final list to publishers to enable them buy core course books at the reduced price the government procured them for public schools.

On January 5, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed publishers to sell the books to private schools at the concessionary prices enjoyed by government.

This was after he raised concern that books printed in Kenya were being sold at half price in Kigali, Rwanda.

"We want to ensure that the directive is respected. We want to ensure that that is done," Ndoro said.

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