Gov’t launches pilot programme to phase out 8-4-4 system

Gov't launches pilot programme to phase out 8-4-4 system
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. Photo/Courtesy

The government has launched a pilot programme for the new 2-6-6-3 curriculum system of education that is expected to replace the 8-4-4 system.

Speaking at the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development in Nairobi as he launched the pilot programme for the early years curriculum pilot phase, Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, warned head teachers against interfering with the pilot process and instead urged them to seek feedback from stakeholders concerning the piloting of the new curriculum.

In the event that saw head teachers from across the country assembled at the institute for curriculum development to witness the launch, Matiang’i added that the government has enough resources and well-trained tutors to roll out the programme.

The pilot, which will involve 470 primary and pre-primary schools countrywide, will be implemented starting May and will run until August, giving stakeholders’ ample time to assess its effectiveness.

According to the CS, the pilot phase is based on ensuring it equips students with skills to enable them compete in the modern job market.

The move to change the education curriculum comes after the current system was slammed for being too exam-oriented and exerting undue pressure on learners, complaints the 2-6-6-3 system hopes to address in its approach.

The new 2-6-6-3 system proposes a practical framework that nurtures competencies of learners based on their passions and talents.

Children aged four and five are expected to spend two years in Pre-Primary School before transitioning to primary school.

The Lower Primary School will comprise of classes one to three where basic literacy, numeracy and environmental skills will be taught and where learners will be exposed to continuous evaluation rather than formal examinations.

In class three a national examination is proposed to be administered but to sample few, for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of the system.

In Upper Primary Level, grades four to six, learners will be exposed to subjects inclusive of creative arts, with pupils allowed to study an indigenous language or foreign such as Chinese, Arabic, French and German.

Grade six will be the final year in primary school but instead of administering a KCPE-like national test, learners will be evaluated continuously while on course with a national exam at class six set for sample few for purposes of assessing the education system.

Graduates of primary school will join junior secondary schools for three years between grades seven and nine.

Here, learners are set to begin to specialize based on their interests and competencies with emphasis on career guidance.

Learners will also be continually assessed in a process that will account for 70 percent of the final grade.

The remaining 30 percent will be determined through a national test set by the Kenya National Examinations Council.

Grade nine graduates will then proceed to senior school where 60 percent of learners will be exposed to science, technical, engineering and mathematics fields.

Others will train in languages and humanities while the rest will focus on arts and sports science.

Senior schools graduates according to the proposed curriculum will be ready to either join the nation’s labour force or further their studies in universities and middle-level colleges.

At each Level O the new system, learners will be exposed to digital literacy as a means of teaching.

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