Race to beat CBC Junior Secondary School timelines

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 05:20 | By
Race to beat CBC Junior Secondary School timelines
Principals and delegates at the official opening of this year’s Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association conference in Mombasa, yesterday. PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) is racing against time to beat the January 2023 Junior Secondary School (JSS) roll-out timelines.

Officials from KICD confirmed yesterday that they were working round the clock to develop curriculum designs and other learning materials for the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Speaking at the ongoing primary school heads conference in Mombasa, KICD chief executive officer Charles Ong’ondo announced that the curriculum designs and textbooks for JSS would be available in schools by January 2023.

 He was responding to a plea by the Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) which demanded that the textbooks and curriculum designs be distributed in time before transitioning of children to CBC.

Teachers’ input

“The curriculum designs are ready and KICD will be distributing them by January 23 in all learning institutions,” Ong’ondo told head teachers yesterday. He said the designs were not being done in isolation, as teachers were involved in the process.

At the same time, Ong’ondo asked teachers to keenly verify the materials supplied to them by publishers to ensure learners get KICD-verified material to avoid confusion. The books will be distributed in a ratio of one book per student. “All books coming to your schools must be verified before they go to the learners. As centre managers, you need to do proper check-ups before signing for these materials,” he said.

School heads have been at loggerheads with parents, who have raised concerns over some of the practical materials children were required to bring.

Some parents claimed that teachers were taking advantage of the new curriculum to request chicken to eat.

“We are happy you are exposing the learners to practical fields. Let’s continue doing that, because where will they know that chicken does not come from the supermarket,” Ong’ondo said.

The KICD says it fully supports the study by the presidential task force that is recommending that primary institutions should host junior secondary schools.

“It’s critical for learners to study in primary schools because they are still emotionally attached to their teachers and parents. We support the recommendations because we know the teachers have the capacity to nurture these learners at this stage,” said Ong’ondo.

Kepsha chairman Johnson Nzioka said they would give the Ministry the necessary support in implementing CBC.

“We are ready to support the government in this endeavour because the reforms we are awaiting on CBC are significant in this country’s education system,” Nzioka said.

Increase capitation

He also urged the Government to increase capitation to enable CBC implementation, now that junior secondary has been domiciled in primary schools.

 With the rising cost of living and the subsequent reforms being steered by the Ministry of Education, Nzioka said, there is a need to inject more funds to support public schools countrywide.

He said the education reforms — among them domiciling junior secondary school in primary institutions — have come with a cost implication and will require additional resources. “The primary sector has been underfunded for many years. By the end of this conference, we are expecting to hear of increased funding by raising the capitation,” said Nzioka.

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