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New education curriculum to reduce unemployment, Stakeholders

Education stakeholders in a Baringo primary School are full of praise for the new education curriculum being implemented in schools saying they are already seeing the benefits.

Grade 3 teachers, parents and pupils of AIC Visa Oshwal heaped praise on the Competency Based Curriculum saying they are already seeing the impact of the system.

Speaking after the first Assessment of the pupils in the school last week, the Grade 3 parents’ representative Stephen Rotich said the new curriculum will impart new skills to reduce unemployment in the country.

“The pupils are getting new life skills that will make them independent and will make them not to over rely on white collar jobs but create employment by employing the skills learnt,” said the parent.

Rotich called on the parents and trade unions to support the new curriculum saying the benefits outweigh the challenges of the programme and urged the critics to stop politicising the issue.

He also called on the government to address the challenges facing implementation of the curriculum saying lack of resources has been cited as a major challenge as the system requires a lot of materials for learning.

According to the School Deputy Head Teacher Mrs. Sheila Rotich, the new system is more practical and the pupils were very excited as they get involved in practical exercises that break classroom monotony.

“The CBC is child centered as opposed to the 8-4-4 which was teacher centered, when the children are left to work independently they will develop holistically and become stress free,” said Mrs. Rotich.

She added that the teachers have been adequately trained on the system and ready to impart the skills to the pupils.

Rotich cited challenges about tools saying they need more teaching aid and equipment that will be used by learners.

She however said she had together with other teachers in the school looked for a way of creating the items from locally available materials for the system that requires collaboration between the teachers and pupils.

One of the teachers responsible for teaching the over 160 pupils in the school Mrs. Elizabeth Cheburet said the new curriculum creates professional progression where the child’s talents are realised and nurtured from an early age.

“It will help to prevent wasting of the children who most of the time ended up in wrong profession in the old curriculum which emphasised written academic work,” said the teacher.

The teacher showed the items that the children had improvised as learning materials which they used to carry out activities and were used to assess their creativity in the environmental activities subject.

“As you can see the pupils have made aprons from used sacks, nose masks from used clothes, caps from carton boxes which they use as protective gear in a town cleaning exercise, they also created equipment such as rake from wood and nails, sweeping brooms from twigs and grass which they used for cleaning,” explained the teacher.

Mrs. Cheburet said they assess each pupil’s capabilities and grade them as exceeding, meeting, approach and below parameters before uploading the marks to the Kenya National Examination Council.

She said they were racing against time after they received the books late in the term and are optimistic the children will be ready for the inaugural Grade Three national examinations come September.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kabarnet Town were surprised to see the nine-year-olds dressed in sack clothes and other improvised protective gears while cleaning town and singing songs.

They were accompanied by their teachers and parents in the exercise that was used as part of assessment for their environmental activities.

By Christopher Kiprop

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