Curriculum Reform in Kenya: Rationale and Prospects for Economic Growth

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1 Curriculum Reform in Kenya: Rationale and Prospects for Economic Growth by Julius O. Jwan, PhD Director/CEO Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Education World Forum 18 th 20 th Jan, 2016

2

3 A. Background Kenya was a British colony until 1963 Composed of 49? 60? different ethnic groups of varying sizes, languages and cultures About 2% of population made up of varying Indian, European and Arab origin Population of 38,610,097 people (19,192,458 men and 19,417,639 women - Kenya Census Could be about 47M The population growth rate is 2.6%, considered high.

4 Background 12,487,375 (32.3%) people are in urban areas. 26,122,722 (67.7%) people are in rural areas. This has implication on education and curriculum planning (education quality, relevance and equity most affected in rural areas and urban slums)

5 Economy Economic growth in 2015 was projected at 5.6% GDP Mainstay of economy is agriculture (tea, coffee, horticulture and floriculture) and tourism Economy benefits from remittances of Kenyans in the diasporas.

6 Education Shared responsibility btwn national and county governments. County governments responsible for Early Childhood Care and Education; Youth Polytechnics; and Home Craft Centres. National government responsible for all other levels, including primary, secondary; special needs, TVET, university, teacher training etc.

7 B. Rationale for Curriculum Reforms in Kenya 1. UNESCO Review after every five years Last curriculum reforms in Kenya were carried out in 1984 (structure changed to from ). Since then, there have been three curriculum reviews in 1992, 1995 and 2003.

8 2. Kenyan Constitution, 2010 National Values & Principles of Governance; Bill of Rights; Leadership Ethics and Integrity

9 3. Vision 2030 Economic, social, political pillars

10 4. Violence Different manifestations ethnic, clan, radicalisation cultural, economic, political etc

11 5. National Cohesion and Integration Conflicts in the country reveal that, little attention has been paid to national cohesion and integration within the formal education system. Reforms should deliberately emphasize both content, support materials and delivery approaches that instill in the learners the values of cohesion and integration

12 6. Education Relevance and Quality Studies reveal that the current education system only seems to serve the needs of a small group of learners who proceed to university & tertiary institutions. Employers feel that graduates from the school system do not have soft skills that are crucial for moulding productive human resource. Public feel that the curriculum is too loaded at the bottom and; There is too much emphasis on summative assessment.

13 7. ICT Integration and Financial Literacy Education is increasingly being influenced by ICT thus design of a curriculum should be within a collaborative digital application to support learning with flexible timing & learning environments. Need for financial literacy skills entrepreneurship, ethics in use of finances etc

14 8. Regional Trends East African Community has finalized process of developing a framework for harmonization of education within Partner States.

15 9.Global Trends Ensure that citizens & country remain globally competitive. Conceptualize curriculum not as a course of study but as a course of life. Emphasis on foundational skills of literacy, numeracy and life skills in primary school education cycle; Integration of competencies as a strategy of making learning meaningful across related disciplines and subjects; Emphasis on 21 st Century skills of communication, problem solving, critical, creative, logical and rational thinking, innovativeness; Design of secondary education to provide multiple pathways.

16 C. The KICD Curriculum Development Cycle Preliminary preparation (Summative Evaluation, Literature Review, benchmarking etc) Needs Assessment (Development of instruments, Data collection, Data analysis, Report writing, Dissemination) Policy Formulation (National goals, Structure of the education system, Level objectives, Courses time allocation, Number of subjects, Assessment of the various subjects at national level) Curriculum Designs (Subject s general objectives, Topics and topical contents, Scope and sequence chart formulation, Curriculum design document)

17 Syllabus development and approval (Subject s syllabus writing panels, Editing panel, Review by full subject panel, Course panel, Academic committee, Mass printing/production, Syllabus distribution Development of curriculum support materials (Production of course books, Production of teachers guides, Production of non-print materials e.g. electronic and digital curriculum support materials) Teacher preparation (Development of handbooks and manuals, Orientation of field officer, Orientation of teachers on the curriculum)

18 Pre-testing/Pilot testing/phasing (Selection of pilot schools, Development of instructional materials, Monitoring of the piloting, Revision of the piloted syllabus, Vetting of curriculum support materials National Implementation (National Teacher orientation, Distribution of syllabuses, Implementation) Monitoring and evaluation (Monitoring activities, Summative evaluation, Syllabus revision, Course panel, Academic committee)

19 D. Competency-based Curriculum Observable knowledge, skills and attitudes Less about knowing and more about doing something Outcome based rather than content based. Certification based on demonstrated learning outcomes, Adaptive programmes to ensure optimum learner guidance It is learner-centred. Define minimum acceptable performance at each age/grade.

20 Competency-based Curriculum cont. Assessment is criterion referenced - students compete against a standard rather than against each other. Emphasizes more on formative than summative assessment. Generic competencies relate to competencies needed in all knowledge domains / subjects and can be transferred Core competencies sets of appropriate competencies needed to accomplish a key occupational tasks Subject specific competencies relate to clusters of knowledge, skills and attitudes competencies within one knowledge domain / subject

21 Differentiated Curriculum and Pathways All learners need to study a core curriculum in literacy, numeracy and life skills, there is need to offer a differentiated curriculum through creation of pathways at the secondary school where learners can exploit interest and potential The pathways will include vocational education, performing arts & sports and general education Will help reduce the current overconcentration on examinations caused by the focus on the single pathway of joining university. KICD has proposed that the curriculum reform vision be Nurturing Every Learner s Potential

22 E. Challenges to Curriculum Reform in Kenya Equity in access and outcomes

23 Challenges to Curriculum Reform in Kenya cont. Capacity of teachers to implement a competency-based curriculum. Infrastructure for the multiple pathways in secondary education. Inadequate and competent teachers for the pathways. Assessment policies and practices -the approach to assessment in the country is heavily norm referenced and summative.

24 Thank you!

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