EDUCATION WILL BE COMPROMISED
Calls for halt to implementation saying teachers won’t be blamed when it’s pronounced dead
• Knut secretary general says system rolled out hurriedly, teachers untrained, uncomfortable
• Curriculum developer says textbooks distributed, teacher training underway
The Kenya National Union of Teachers yesterday launched fresh attacks on the new curriculum, urging the government to halt implementation and saying teachers are unfamiliar and unable to handle it.
The union said reception among teachers is generally negative and warning that teachers will not take the blame should the curriculum be pronounced dead.
Union secretary-general Wilson Sossion yesterday said the curriculum was rolled out hurriedly and teachers lack adequate knowledge to implement it.
“We are not going to cheat the public that we are teaching. The education of your children will be compromised through this process because teachers don’t have the capacity and have not been adequately trained,” Sossion said yesterday.
The union bases its argument on its research titled ‘Teachers preparedness for implementation of the competency-based curriculum in pre-primary and lower primary grades in Kenya’. It was conducted by the union between January and February this year.
The assessment shows that teachers were trained for only two or three days instead of the stipulated five days.
It also blames problems facing the curriculum and the teachers on inadequate knowledge, lack of enough approved textbooks for teachers and learners and lack of instructional materials.
However, curriculum developer director Julius Jwan yesterday disputed the Knut study, saying the government had distributed more than 17 million textbooks for the new system and teacher training was ongoing.
Sossion also questioned its legality, saying the rollout was done without the legal requirement of a sessional paper approved by Parliament.
The union also says the government failed to involve local academic experts, with foreigners dominating consultancy in the reform process.
“However much we get poetic about this curriculum, it may not translate to teaching and learning… teachers are not robots which you program. They are human beings who were taken through a different teaching method during their college training and had specific targets and outcomes,” Sossion said.
The new 2-6-3-3- system is replacing the 8-4-4, which has been discredited for being too examination-centred. The new system places emphasis on continuous assessment tests (CATs) instead of one-off examinations.
It also replaces the current Standard 1 to Form 4 with Grades 1 to 12.
The parents association, through national chairman Nicholas Maiyo, disputed halting the programme but called for more capacity-building of teachers to ensure its success.