Why 2022 will be a significant year for education - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 25 August 2019

Why 2022 will be a significant year for education

Competency-Based Curriculum
By DAVID MUCHUNGUH
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Many things are expected in 2022. It will be a general election year and polls tend to be emotive and divisive.
The election will particularly be significant because President Uhuru Kenyatta will leave office.
About two or three months after the electoral dust would have settled, the competency-based curriculum pioneer class, currently in Grade 3, will join junior secondary school.
The children will not write any national examinations at the end of Grade 6, meaning they will all be in Grade 7, as announced by the President on Friday.
They will instead have a formative and national assessment as prescribed by the Basic Education Curriculum Framework.
The learners will not be new to such an assessment as they will have already gone through one in Grade 3.
They will be assessed again in 2025 at the end of Grade 9 as they join senior secondary school.
ASSESSMENT
This will be used for placement as the learners follow paths of their choice. According to the framework, this will be a summative assessment.
At the end of their senior school, the Kenya National Examinations Council will prepare another summative assessment before releasing “engaged, empowered and ethical citizens” ready for university, tertiary education and training.
As all that is happening in the CBC, the phasing out of 8-4-4 would be going on. The last cohort – currently in Standard Four – will sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination in 2027.
At every point of exit, there will be an assessment, in the case of CBC, and examinations for those still in 8-4-4.
The difference from the current system is that these assessments will not be one-off affairs but a cumulative measurement of what the learners would have learnt.
FRAMEWORK
The Knec has the mandate to set and maintain examination standards and conduct public academic, technical and other national examinations.
Most focus during the curriculum reform journey has been on the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development but this is bound to shift to Knec.
According to a June 24, 2019 circular to sub-county directors of education, curriculum support officers and heads of primary schools by acting Knec chief executive Mercy Karogo, the council “has developed a Competency-Based Assessment Framework for basic education guided by the BECF and curriculum designs for early years of education”.
She however declined to comment on this story, saying the task force appointed by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to advise on the CBC will make all issues clear.
Dr Karogo is an ex-official member of the committee.
USER-FRIENDLY APPROACH
One of the terms of reference of the task force is “to undertake broad stakeholder engagement, review literature and identify international best practices with a view to preparing a comprehensive advisor report”.
Advice on the competency-based assessment for the reformed curriculum is one of the expected outcomes.
“Knec will have a new and more engaging role in the new dispensation. Whereas previously the council has been viewed with fear – because the conduct and implication of examinations – the new assessment methods demand a more user-friendly approach from Knec,” Mr Paul Mwaniki, a secondary school teacher, said.
The council will be expected to research extensively and come up with the best assessment methods for the new curriculum to succeed.
ACHIEVEMENT
In the absence of cut-throat competition, Knec has a huge task of ensuring that the assessments will be accorded serious treatment and teachers and learners will not take their feet off the pedal since 100 per cent transition is guaranteed.
The Knec will assume a new role of supporting learning rather than a guillotine for those considered not good enough by the system.
During a consultative forum for deans of schools of education at the University of Embu last week, special adviser to the Education Cabinet Secretary, Mr David Njeng’ere, said proper measurement of achievement using standardised tools will be key in the future.

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