The government has been developing a 2-6-3-3-3 system to replace the 8:4:4 system of education.
Piloting for Class One to Three will, however, continue next year while pupils in Class Four will continue with the 8:4:4 curriculum.
Education CS said the national pilot will be extended for one more year to allow alignment of implementation, particularly intensive in-service teacher training.
Lack of funds to support the new curriculum, poorly trained teachers and failure by the government to anchor the review process in law are the key issues behind the postponement of its roll-out, initially set for next month.
A report tabled in a closed-door meeting of the national curriculum steering committee held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) showed that the review process was to cost Sh365 billion for the first four years, an amount that was not budgeted for in the current financial year.
The report also proposed a totally new academic system dubbed 2-9-3-3, entailing two years of pre-primary education, nine years of primary education, three years of secondary education and another three in university.
The government has been developing a 2-6-3-3-3 system to replace the 8:4:4 system of education. No decision was, however, reached on the system to be put in place during yesterday’s meeting chaired by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
Ms Mohamed, however, gave in to demands of the steering committee that the roll-out be pushed to 2020.
Piloting for Class One to Three will, however, continue next year while pupils in Class Four will continue with the 8:4:4 curriculum. It will be the third year of piloting the curriculum.
The steering committee team is drawn from religious organisations, universities, secondary schools, civil society organisations and teachers' unions.
It is tasked with providing guidance on policy requirements for the different levels of education relating to development, implementation and assessment of curriculum for education and training.
While making her announcement on Tuesday, Ms Mohamed did not consult the committee, a move that attracted protests from them.
Before attending the meeting, Ms Mohamed held another meeting with the ministry’s top leadership, led by Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, external evaluators and top KICD officials, to take a position after her revelation on Tuesday that the country was not ready for the new curriculum.
On Saturday, the ministry advanced the idea that implementation of the curriculum be suspended indefinitely to allow for proper planning which Ms Mohamed had indicated was needed.
The CS was also not happy with the criticism that had been directed at the ministry over the issue and called for constructive engagement.
She also asked stakeholders to reach out to her in person so that they can share their concerns.
The ministry’s unpreparedness for the roll-out was also evident as Ms Mohamed announced a raft of measures to ensure the success of the programme, including taking over key roles that the ministry had left to KICD, which was spearheading the process.
The CS said the national pilot will be extended for one more year to allow alignment of implementation, particularly intensive in-service teacher training.
Ms Mohamed said the government will finalise and launch the National Curriculum Policy Framework in January 2019, as well as present the Sessional Paper on reforming Education and Training Sector in Kenya, before Parliament in February when the Houses resume sessions.
“Once passed, it will ensure a new instructional paradigm in the Kenyan education system,” said the CS, adding that the launch of the National Education Sector Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2022 will be done in February, 2019.
She also announced the establishment of a Secretariat within the ministry to coordinate the priorities, activities, and communication and implementation infrastructure to support the CBC.
“Coordination in the next two months must be done by all the stakeholders, together. The Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards be tasked to rigorously track the implementation of the CBC in all the sub-counties across the country. Training of Quality Assurance Officers for this purpose will commence in February 2019,” said the CS.
She went on: “The curriculum focus at the Ministry of Education be re-organised to secure supervision and evaluation of the CBC in all public, private and special needs institutions across the country. Step-up intensive teacher-training programmes across the country. Training of tutors for teacher training colleges will commence in January 2019 and will follow a college-based teacher training model.”
The CS also announced that a dedicated fund for teacher training in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years would be negotiated and set aside.