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A word of welcome for clarity and direction on CBC education system

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  • Grade 6 students will continue with their education in the same schools; meaning there will be no need to move.
  • This is a relief for most parents as this decision has eliminated the extra costs they would have had to incur next year to move their children to Grade 7.

The
first Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) exams for Grade 6
learners are over. Before today, the anticipation for the students was high as
they were unsure of which schools they would proceed to for junior secondary
school, that is Grade 7 and beyond. But now there is more clarity than they had
expected. These students will continue with their education in the same
schools; meaning there will be no need to move, a relief for most parents as
this decision has eliminated the extra costs they would have had to incur next
year to move their children to Grade 7.

This
also means that the Grade Six class will remain in their respective schools but
will be exposed to secondary level content. The 2-6-3-3-3 education system will
remain, only that the location of the first level of secondary school moves
from secondary schools to primary.

This directive is among several included in an interim report by The
Presidential Working Party on Education Reform. The task force was appointed by
President William Ruto to review the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and give
recommendations. The report was presented after collection of views from
Kenyans in different parts of the country. The full report is expected to be
released in March 2023; however, the issues addressed in this initial report
were more urgent as the Grade 6 learners have finished their exams and needed
to know what next for them.

Most
parents with children in Grade 6 were actually worried about having their
little ones transition to secondary school and having to interact with much
older learners. This age difference was problematic for many parents. Now those
who were worried can breathe easy as it will mean the children can stay in
their current schools for a bit longer, and move when older.

This
decision has also, to some extent, saved the government the blushes, as there
is no longer the urgency to build new classrooms for Junior Secondary. Yes, one
of the directives in the report is the construction of a classroom and a
laboratory in every primary school. But, in the meantime, primary schools
neighbouring secondary schools will share laboratories and other facilities
with junior secondary schools; a reprieve it is.

The
report further directs that the exams that have just been completed will have
no bearing on whether the learners proceed to Junior Secondary School or not,
this means all the students will continue with Grade 7, a 100 per cent
transition. The results will instead be used to assess the progress a student
is making.

However,
one of the issues that has been of concern for many is the teachers who will be
taking over classes in the Junior Secondary school. The country is already
facing a teachers’ shortage without the new classes in the CBC education
programme. The task force has directed the recruitment of an additional 30,000
teachers in the next two months to facilitate the transition to Grade 7. But
given that there are no secondary level teachers at primary schools and that
there is no plan to shift teachers from current secondary schools to the
primary institutions, reports indicate that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC)
has been tasked to identify teachers in primary schools with diploma and degree
qualifications to be prioritized for training for the grade seven level. The
KICD, TSC and the Ministry of Education are expected to retool the identified
teachers about junior secondary content in the next one month.

And
as the interim report gives clarity to many and gives some relief as students
begin the long holiday which hopefully will culminate in some semblance of
normalcy in the education calendar, the hope among stakeholders including
parents, students and their teachers is that the full report by the task force
will give direction for students post Junior Secondary school.



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