• This will provide opportunities for learners to focus on a field of their choice as well as form a foundation for further education, training and gain employable skills.
• The country should by now have quite a good number of schools adopted as CBC centres of excellence to be emulated by others.
Time is of the essence. About one year five months' time is remaining for the government to implement CBC at the secondary level.
In 2023, the CBC pioneers who are soon joining Grade 5 at the end of this month, will be in Junior High School at Grade 7.
This means there is no much time left to prepare and align schools to the requirements of CBC as stipulated in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework 2017.
All eyes are now focusing on secondary schools and their administrations to see whether they are preparing well to receive the CBC learners who will take six years.
The new State Department of Education for the Implementation of Curriculum reforms headed by Principal Secretary Fatuma Chege should be ahead of time in ensuring plans are in place and well-executed for the smooth implementation of CBC all through the basic education levels.
Under the CBC structure, which is 2-6-6-3, primary education has been reduced to six years, instead of eight as in the 8-4-4 system.
This means learners will take more years in secondary education. The new curriculum is not limited to academics but also other talented areas like sports.
Schools will be categorised in terms of areas of specialisation they will be offering.
This will provide opportunities for learners to focus on a field of their choice as well as form a foundation for further education, training and gain employable skills.
CBC aims at creating an ethical, engaged and empowered citizen as well as seeking to nurture every learner’s potential by ensuring all learners, including those in special needs education acquire the 7 core competencies.
They include Citizenship, Learning to Learn, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Digital Literacy, Self-Efficacy, Communication and Collaboration, and Imagination and Creativity.
The system demands a lot in terms of infrastructure development to allow for the categorization of schools in order of specialities.
Providing schools specializing in different disciplines like Sports, Theater and Arts will need a lot of investment in terms of equipment and human resource to effectively develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes of learners who are talented in such disciplines for a better future.
According to the Needs Assessment which was done by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in 2016, Kenyans wanted a curriculum that promotes identification and nurturing of talents in all levels of education, a departure from the 8.4.4 system.
Talents are important companions and alternatives to academic excellence, which are also key sources of employment and national development.
At Junior School (Grades 7-9), learners will be exposed to various learning areas to capture the aspirations and interests and as a basis of choosing subjects according to career paths provided for at the Senior School level.
With more years in secondary level, more classrooms need to be built and others expanded to accommodate the 100 per cent transition and the double intake in 2023 when Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates also join Form One.
In Kenya, the number of primary schools and the enrollment rate is higher than those in secondary schools.
According to Basic Education Statistical Booklet 2019, the number of primary schools in Kenya increased from 31,449 in 2017 to 32,344 in 2019 while the number of secondary schools increased from 8,958 in 2017 to 10,487 in 2019.
This account for 70 per cent and 85 per cent of public primary and secondary schools in Kenya.
Senior School; Grades 10-12 targets learners between the age bracket 15 to 17 years as it lays a foundation for further education and training at the tertiary level and the world of work.
At this level, learners will be allowed to select their career of choice and start specializing in different pathways provided.
These pathways, include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Arts and Sports Science; and Social Sciences.
Capacity development of teachers on the new pedagogy of curriculum delivery is critical for improved performance of learners at all levels.
While education plays a critical role in the growth and development of the country towards a prosperous future, teachers are key in nurturing and empowering the minds and hearts of the young ones for a better tomorrow.
There is a need for teachers to be CBC compliant for effective curriculum delivery.
Professional development of teachers is more than training or retooling.
It includes formal and informal means of helping teachers to not only learn new skills but also to develop new insights into pedagogy, exploring a new or advanced understanding of content and resources.
The kind of work that is needed for capacity development of teachers and the infrastructure development in schools calls for collaborative efforts from well-wishers, private sectors players and other organizations in supporting the government to build new facilities and complete or expand the existing ones.
The Ministry of Education should move with speed to rally support, both from private and public sectors to have a conducive teaching and learning environment in secondary schools.
The country should by now have quite a good number of schools adopted as CBC centres of excellence to be emulated by others.
The schools should be spread across the country, devolving to the subcounty level for benchmarking and improvement purposes.
There is need for a robust parental empowerment and engagement initiatives to strengthen the involvement of parents in the education of their children and the development of schools
Edited by Kiilu Damaris