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Kenya- The Proposed New Education System

Deputy President William Ruto and CS, Education Fred Matiang'I

Deputy President William Ruto and CS, Education Fred Matiang’i

The current education system in Kenya has been in existence since 1985 it involves; 8 years in primary school, 4 years in high school and 4 years in tertiary/higher learning institutions.

8-4-4 has been criticized as outdated, too expansive, burdensome and even expensive. It is analyzed as being heavily loaded in terms of content, too examinations oriented  and does not encourage all rounded skills and abilities in sports, drama, music and other extra-curricular activities.

Taita Taveta Women Representative- Joyce Lay has finally introduced a Bill in Parliament that seeks to implement changes to the system. This remarkable effort mirrors the recommendation and findings from a 2012 Task Force mandated to align the education system and the National  Constitution.

The guiding principles of this system will allow for consideration of age and developmental stages of learners at all levels, allows transition of all students from primary to secondary school and offers several pathways to learners after secondary school.

The new system will involve;

  1. 5 years of early childhood and primary education
  2. 6 years middle primary and lower secondary
  3. 3 years upper secondary
  4. tertiary level has not been agreed upon.

Approval for this new system has been set for July by the Cabinet Secondary Fred Matiang’i.

Every child has value, Every child has Talent said Dr. Jwan Otieno from Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

This value should be nurtured and encouraged in a child’s basic education and the new system will allow this.

The Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development handed in proposals for the curriculum during a national conference that echoed from results of Needs Assessment Study for Curriculum Reforms. Insights from the public included;

  • new examination format on skills rather than only theory.
  • continuous assessment rather than end of cycle tests that promote anxiety, undue pressure and cheating.

The Economic impact/ challenge of this;



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