8-4-4 PHASE OUT

Private school teachers risk job losses under CBC

KICD estimates that school workload in Primary schools will be reduce by about 20 per cent

In Summary
  •  Analysis by the Star shows that in 2024, primary school teachers will only be handling six classes from the current eight.
  •  With the reduction of two classes in primary schools, teachers currently handling classes 7 and 8 will have a reduced number of lessons.
Grade 3 pupils from Kiangungi primary school in Embu East clean Kiangungi shopping centre as part of CBC assessment.
Grade 3 pupils from Kiangungi primary school in Embu East clean Kiangungi shopping centre as part of CBC assessment.
Image: MARTIN FUNDI

Private school teachers could be staring at job losses as the phase-out of the 8-4-4 syllabus hits the homestretch.

The adoption of the Competency-Based Curriculum will see teachers in primary schools teach lesser classes beginning next year as the country phases out the 8-4-4 curriculum.

Currently, only three classes in primary school are taking the 32-year-old curriculum. In effect, the final class will exit primary school in 2023.

Analysis by the Star shows that at the dawn of 2024, primary school teachers will only be handling six classes from the current eight.

The ripple effect will cut both ways. First, it will be a relief with a reduction on the workload, but it could also have adverse effects on private schools as they move to save on human resources.

According to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the shift will see the workload of these teachers reduced by about 20 per cent.

On Wednesday, Kenya Private School Association chief executive Mutheu Kasanga said the possibility of laying off staff is far-fetched as they will still be vital in handling the extra demands coming with the CBC.

"Remember there is an increase in the number of subjects taught under the new curriculum and this will balance out with the reduction in the number of classes," Kasanga told the Star.

However, despite the addition in subjects, the Star has established that the number of hours allocated to teaching and learning in schools under the CBC remains the same as those of the 8-4-4.

In total, schools take 40 lessons each week similar to the number of lessons taken under the old system.

"The only difference being in the number of subject frequency. For example, prior to the CBC, schools taught core subjects of English, Kiswahili and Mathematics on a daily basis.

However, Kiswahili and English have drastically been reduced and are now taught only three times each week with only mathematics maintaining daily lessons.

This means that despite the introduction of new subjects under the CBC the time allocated to teaching and learning was not revised upwards.

Thus a CBC teacher and an 8-4-4 teacher spend the same number of hours teaching.

However, the real impact will be felt only in 2024 when the 8-4-4 will have completely been phased out of primary school.

With the reduction of two classes in primary schools teachers currently handling classes, 7 and 8 will have a reduced number of lessons.

The ripple effect could see the shortage of staff addressed in the short run that has been a perennial challenge in teaching and learning in schools.

In primary schools, teachers are trained to handle all subjects, however, for convenience, the schools assign each teacher a maximum of two subjects to handle in at least three classes in upper primary.

This means the teachers can teach all classes from Grade 4 to Standard 8.

In essence, the teachers will now be teaching only three classes of Grade 4, 5 and 6 upon the collapse of 8-4-4 in primary schools.

However, the Kenya National Union of Teachers argues that the pressure is not set to reduce as teachers are expected to handle more subjects compared to the 8-4-4.

The class will accommodate children aged nine or 10 and are expected to take 12 compulsory subjects.

These include English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Christian or Islamic Religious Education, Home Science, Agriculture, Art and Craft, Music, and Physical and Health Education.

Knut secretary general Collins Oyuu Wednesday called on TSC to ensure they employ more teachers to address the shortage issue.

-Edited by SKanyara