Saturday, September 23, 2023

New curriculum to cost Sh. 365 billion

Cost of New Curriculum: BY THE STANDARD: The government requires Sh. 365 billion to start phasing out the 8–4–4 education system during the first four years of implementing the new curriculum.

An expert analysis of the cost implication revealed that some Sh. 90 billion is needed annually to roll out the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). It emerged yesterday that the huge bill would cater for preparation of teachers, recruitment of more staff and development of proper infrastructure.

The details emerged during a crisis meeting of the Multi-Sectoral National Steering Committee chaired by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed yesterday. The huge financial implications are part of the many findings of the National External Evaluation team, which was commissioned by the Cabinet Secretary in June.

The report prepared by a team headed by former Moi University Vice Chancellor Laban Ayiro revealed that the curriculum reform did not carefully consider serious resource constraints during the planning stages of piloting.

“The cost of the initiative from PP1, PP2 up to Grade 4 will be approximately Sh. 365 Billion for the first four years,” reads the report.

And yesterday, Amb Amina seemed to agree with the findings when she explained that the curriculum development process did not factor in such concerns.

“The process did not carefully consider resource constraints and was not given the necessary strategic interventions at the inception stage,” Amina said. It also emerged yesterday that a new education system will be redesigned to extend primary education by one year under a new 2-9-3-3.

Under this new system, pupils will spend nine years in primary schools which shall be compulsory day learning to allow parents spend more time with their children.

Secondary education will be reduced by one year, with students allowed to spend only three years in high school on specific pathways they choose. Tertiary and university education will last three years.

The initial 2-6-3-3-3 provided for six years in primary schools, three years in junior secondary school and another three years in senior secondary school.

Amina yesterday announced that the implementation of the new curriculum will continue, but shall only be delayed by one year to allow room to correct lessons learnt during the first two years of piloting.

The statement calms earlier speculation that Amina would suspend the new curriculum and insist on the current 8-4-4 system.

After a series of consultative meetings with sector players, Amina said that the national roll out earlier scheduled for next month will now kick off in 2020.

This means that the whole of next year will be dedicated to another round of piloting that will now target pre-primary (PP) or nursery classes to Grade Three. “The CBC National Pilot be extended for one more year to allow alignment in implementation, particularly, intensive in-service teacher training. The National roll-out will take place in January 2020,” Amina said.

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