How proposed 2-6-6-3 education system differs from 8-4-4


KCPE candidate during the exam preparation
KCPE candidate during the exam preparation

In Summary

  • The proposed 2-6-6-3 system will replace 8-4-4 systems which was introduced by retired President Moi in 1985.
  • According to the government, the new system will adopt three levels: Early years education, Middle level education, Tertiary and University level.
  • On completion of the three levels, learners will be ready to follow their career paths and be absorbed into the job market.

The proposed 2-6-6-3 new education system which has been on pilot for the past one year is set to replace the 8-4-4 system which was introduced by retired President Moi in 1985.

According to the ministry of education, the new system will adopt three levels: Early years education, Middle level education, Tertiary and University level.

Early years education will be broken down into Pre-primary and Lower Primary education, this stage will be for learners aged between four and five years. The stage will further be broken down into Pre-primary one and Pre-primary two.

After successfully completing Pre-primary two the learners will transition to Lower primary in grade one and spend three years in this phase of early year education before joining middle school .

Upon completion of lower primary education, learners will move to  Middle school which will comprise of three years of upper primary and three years of lower secondary.

It’s at this stage that the system fundamentally differs with 8-4-4 curriculum. At the upper primary and lower secondary level learners will be given an opportunity to explore their own abilities personalities and interests which will then form a basis of choosing subjects according to careers paths at the senior school.

The opportunity to choose will provide learners with options of exploring talents, social sciences,  science technology, engineering and mathematics also known as stem.

The new system will rely on cumulative marks from the continuous assessment tests administered at all levels

All those marks will be used to transition to higher education institutions based on areas of individual interests and talents.

Upon following their interests, the learners will transition to tertiary institutions of learning which consists of undergraduate, postgraduate programs, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and diploma programs.

On completion of the three levels, learners will be ready to follow their career paths and be absorbed into the job market.

Last week, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced that the government is set to roll out the new curriculum in January 2019 following public uproar over plans to push it to 2020.

According to the ministry, the proposed system is competence based compared to 8-4-4 system which has been described by many as being exam based judging from KCPE and KCSE yearly national exams.

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