100% transition focus on education forum

There are still no guidelines on whether earners will sit a national examination before joining secondary school

In Summary

• New curriculum has not addressed where teachers of junior secondary schools will be recruited and where classes will be domiciled. 

• The agenda also will cover the place of ICT, special education and Science, Technology and Mathematics in the new curriculum.

Education CS Prof George Magoha.
REFORM IMPERATIVE: Education CS Prof George Magoha.
Image: FILE

Primary to secondary school transition will take centre stage in the National Education Conference set for Friday.

The government hs promised 100 per cent but critics say it's unworkable, there are not enough teachers and infrastructure is inadequate, among many other problems.

The Education ministry has no clear guidelines on whether learners will sit a national examination before joining secondary school, as in the current system.

Other unanswered questions are where the teachers for junior secondary school will be drawn from and where the lower secondary school will be domiciled.

The challenge is presented by the arrangement of the new curriculum that expands the number of secondary school years from the current four to six.

It also divides it to two — junior secondary and senior secondary, in which learners will specialise.

Sources close to the development of the new curriculum say a new task force will deliberate on the place of secondary school, which is three years away from implementation. 

The task force chaired by Fatuma Chege, the Kenyatta University deputy chancellor for administration, has until June next year to sort the secondary schools' puzzle.

Education CS George Magoha, who initially had dismissed preparedness questions raised by teachers' unions, said the team named on Friday will lay the groundwork to resolve issues facing CBC that is gradually replacing the 8-4-4 system.

An earlier proposal suggested junior high school be domiciled in primary schools under the Competency-Based Curriculum.

However, the proposal was criticised by some secondary school principals and is said to be one reason the Kenya National Union of Teachers opposes implementation of the curriculum. 

If adopted, the proposal will expand primary schools to accommodate nine classes.

Magoha said on Thursday that the conference will provide a platform for stakeholders to explore strategies to hasten curriculum reforms.

The conference will also discuss the place of ICT, special education and Science, Technology and Mathematics (Stem subjects) in the new curriculum.

"This conference aims to bring together more than 2,000  stakeholders countrywide to assess to progress in reforming education and identifying gaps and strategies for moving forward," Magoha said.

The one-day meeting will include policymakers, donors, scholars and campaigners to discuss how to align formal education with the demands of the labour market.

The government is committed to ensuring learners are competent not only in languages and numeracy but also in life skills, critical thinking, innovation and problem solving, Magoha said.

The CS said the implementation of CBC that started early this year has gone into overdrive in lower primary school to help prepare learners for jobs of the future.

Edited by R.Wamochie