Matiang’i signals end of 8-4-4 system, announces roll out 2-6-3-3 structure

By For Citizen Digital

Gov't accuses schools of mismanaging funds
Education Cabinet secretary Dr Fred matiang'i. Photo/File

Education CS Fred Matiang’i has signaled the end of the 8-4-4 education system.

Addressing a national conference on curriculum reforms at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) Nairobi, Matiang’i said that the government has undertaken diligence research and availed requisite resources to introduce a new education curriculum.

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Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has proposed a 2-6-3-3 education system to take over from 8-4-4 system which has been in deployment since 1985.

KICD will test the new system in 470 pilot schools country wide, starting May this year.

Depending on the reviews and recommendations of the pilot programme, the Ministry of Education is planned to start rolling out the system in phases starting from pre-primary school and lower primary school classes in 2018.

The new system proposes to scrap national examinations and instead emphasize on continuous assessments and holistic development of learners.

Early Childhood Education (ECD) will also be recognised under the new system, with learners being required to spend two years in ECD centres before joining primary schools.

CS Matiang’i refuted claims that his ministry is hastily deploying the new system, saying they have put in measures to ensure sustainability of the system. He added that plans were in place to review the system every 5 years.

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is tasked with implementation of policy document, and they are required to recommend on pupil assessment plans.

Touching on the August 8 polls, Matiang’i ordered county directors of education to ensure that learning in schools is not disrupted during the electioneering period.

“County directors should not allow children to stand by the road as politicians continue with voters mobilization, they should be in class,” said Matiang’i.

Matiang’i assured parents that the government is devoted to creating a conductive learning environment in schools.

This announcement comes barely a month after the Education Ministry released the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results – exams that had pupils scoring significantly lower marks than previous years.

Only 15% of the 577,079 candidates who sat for the high school exit exam scored between A and C+, with the Ministry saying that their efforts to stamp out exam theft resulted in the drop in performance.

CS Matiang’i announced a raft of changes in the education sector, one of them being s shift from the standardised national exams. The CS explained that the excess focus on one assessment criteria was one of the factors that led to extensive rot in the previous national exams.

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  • Janet Kerubo

    The are two important sets of skills namely the requisite skills and consumable skills: Let me qualify requisite skills are those skills that one needs to develop specialized skills necessary to transform ones environment into products and/or services that are consumable. For example, to be able to an engineer certain numeric and analytical competencies are requisite (in other words, one needs to have studied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology to some level), in order to appreciate the application part. Having said that, I am not convinced that 3 years in Secondary school is sufficient enough to acquire that requisite skills. In fact one problem with 8-4-4 system is that 4 years in secondary school did not equip the learners with the requisite skills for post secondary school training particularly university. I would propose that we two years from the primary school cycle and introduce Senior school where one specializes in in certain areas that lead to tertiary training. In this Senior school, one must be made to do a technical subject of one form or another. In other words we have (2-6-6-3 system or better 2-6-4-2-3 system)
    My feeling is we are reducing the time frame by two years without taking into account the amount of work involved in order to produce a competent workforce. Somebody id going to tell me that for both the 8-4-4 system and the proposed system it takes 16 years to complete school, please do realize that 2 years in ECD in the proposed system are part of the 8-4-4, in other word that it takes much longer in school under the 8-4-4 system.
    Let us not hurry the process instead let us think carefully the implications there off.

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