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Government lauded over suspension of new education curriculum roll out

Government has been commended for suspending the implementation of the new curriculum owing to poor preparation for the roll out.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Kiambu branch, Executive Secretary, Mr. Clement Gicheru Gitau regretted that the new curriculum though meant for the good of the pupil in the ever dynamic world was unnecessarily rushed.
“The implementation took Kenyans by surprise, though we are living in an ever changing society where modifications are needed to suit modern demands, there should have been adequate consultations by all stakeholders,” he said.
The Executive Secretary blamed the Ministry of Education for trying to force the implementation down the throat of Kenyans yet it was not ready to face the challenges that include funding, staffing and infrastructure that is needed for the successful implementation.
He noted that KNUT was aware of the pitfalls and had warned the Ministry over the risk of rushing the roll out but it was ignored but expressed gratitude that it had now been realised.
“KNUT knew the challenges that were looming in the implementation of the curriculum, it informed the Ministry but was ignored, it is good that it has now been realized though piloting is still on,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with KNA in Kiambu town Tuesday, Gitau said there is need for a comprehensive programme to train teachers, upgrade the schools infrastructure and rectify anomalies cited in the published text books before the competence based curriculum is implemented.
He stressed the need to widen consultation with all stakeholders that includes parents, teachers, publishers, and even religious organisations who are also sponsors of many schools in the country.
Gitau observed that just like the current 8-4-4 system that was implemented without consideration of the state of preparedness particularly on the issue of infrastructures such as workshops, the 2-6-6-3 system was also doomed to fail.
“Education reforms should be an all-inclusive process that should be progressively undertaken after deep consultations and agreement, we need to research and critic widely the whole exercise, this is the life of our children and the feature of this country, the 8-4-4 was implemented without consideration of personnel and the available infrastructure, it later became theoretical system as opposed to practical as it was meant to be,” he noted.
Kiambu KNUT official said there is need to have in place the right books, well trained teachers including recruitment of additional new teaching staff and comprehensive infrastructural development.
Gitau noted that with rushed rollout, teachers will be overstretched and the technical part of the curriculum could have been neglected thus having half-baked graduates mostly having gone through the system theoretically instead of practically.
“We need to equip teachers with enough skills and knowledge to handle the system, this can only be done through college training and note short time seminars and workshops,” he noted.
The Knut Executive Secretary, however, is of the opinion that the Digital Literacy Programme should continue just like the piloting of the new curriculum.
He says the programme is crucial in equipping pupils with skills that is relevant to the changing environment where technology is at the centre stage of any transactions.
“Let the Digital Literacy not be politicized, it is a noble idea and important for all of us as Kenyans, it goes along with the global changing environment, we only need to train teachers on this and everything would be ok,” he added.
Education Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, suspended the implementation of the new curriculum until the year 2020, when wide consultation and preparation would have been made.
She cited shortage of teachers, limited infrastructure and complains by other stakeholders as some of the reason for the shelving of the programme.
By Lang’at Edwins

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