Kenya: We are not ready for lower secondary education, say school principals

Secondary schools are not adequately prepared for the transition from 8-4-4 to the competency-based curriculum, with only a year and a half before the CBC’s pioneering class moves to intermediate level.

Schools require significant preparation in terms of infrastructure, teacher training and the development of teaching and learning content. School principals have already warned that the current congestion in secondary schools will reach crisis levels unless urgent action is taken.

CBC implementation was allocated only Sh1 billion in the next fiscal year.

However, this is mainly spent on teacher training. Elementary and secondary school infrastructure was allocated Sh4.2 billion.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli has warned that congestion will reach crisis levels if infrastructure is not expanded by 2023, when there is double admission as the competency-based curriculum is rolled out in secondary schools . Many schools received more first grade students than their capacity last week.

CBC implementation

“There is an increase in student numbers across the board, even last year we got more students than our capacity. We have not increased the capacity of the secondary schools at the same time as the students leaving Standard 8, ”said Mr Indimuli.

Read: Schools That Need 60,000 Teachers As Form One Risks Double Admission

Also read: New proposal aims to shorten the years in secondary education

The Nation has learned that officials from the Department of Education, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Kenya National Examinations Council are attending a workshop in Machakos to develop a plan for CBC implementation. However, they have complained of having to work without access to a report from a task force recommending implementation of the CBC.

“We do not know why the cabinet secretary does not want the report to be published,” said one official.

Details of the cost, structure and guidelines for the transition are contained in the report, which was never published four months after its publication. The working group was led by Prof. Fatuma Chege, who was later appointed chief secretary of the newly created Foreign Ministry for the implementation of curriculum reforms.

4th grade pupils will be admitted to 7th grade in January 2023, the first grade for lower secondary level under the new system in January 2023. This will be after the crash program, in which they cover curriculum content for two years – half Years starting in July of this year.

The situation is exacerbated by the double admission in January 2023 as the final 8-4-4 class joins Form One at the same time, causing traffic jams. A check with the school principals confirmed that no additional infrastructure had been built or commissioned to take care of the many students.

Secondary education will change significantly under the CBC. Learners will enter secondary school after 6th grade and are relatively younger than in the current situation when they enter after 8th grade. .

More classrooms

The additional two classes in secondary education require schools to invest in more classrooms and more dormitories for boarding schools.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on February 2, 2021 that the middle schools would be placed in the current secondary schools on the recommendation of the CBC task force.

KICD is on schedule with the development of curriculum content and has overseen the development of learning materials for all classes in primary school.

However, Knec is lagging behind. It has not yet published a CBC-aligned assessment framework, although it manages formative assessments. The assessment will change under the CBC, replacing summative reviews with formative assessments.

The transition will also be administered by the new government, which will be elected next August. A change in policy and vision will determine how it is implemented.

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