8-4-4 education system End of an Era as new education system, 2-6-6-3 to take effect in 2018

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The new revised education system is expected to come into effect from January 2019, officially making the end of the 8-4-4 system which was introduced in 1985, by President Daniel arap Moi.

  play a native School in Kenya 1947 (Pinterest)

The new revised education system is expected to come into effect from January 2017.

The proposed 2-6-6-3 will officially mark the end of the 8-4-4 system which was introduced in 1985, by President Daniel arap Moi.

According to the new curriculum, students are expected to study for 2-years in pre-primary, 6-years primary, 6-years high school which will be 3-years in the junior secondary and 3-years in the senior secondary and 3 years in the higher education.

play The man responsible for the change; Cabinet secretary of education, Dr. fred matiangi (Zipo)


The proposed education system was developed after the Needs Assessment Study for Curriculum Reforms study conducted by the Kenya Institution Curriculum Development (KICD).


The study sought the public’s opinion on the current education system and found that a good number of Kenyans want an education system that does not solely focus on examination but practical skills as well which allows learners to identify talent and uses teaching methods that are learner friendly according to hapakenya.

play Indian High School, later Asian High School and now Jamhuri High School picture taken at unknown date. (Pinterest)


Early education system will see to it that pupils acquire numeracy, reading and social skills. In the middle primary and lower secondary will have the pupils acquire general knowledge, practical skills, technology, values and pick a career at the end of the Junior Secondary School.

After transitioning to Upper secondary school, communication skills, critical thinking, technology and creativity will make up the curriculum.

play Reading Lesson in the Congo. A class of boys learns to read the local language (missionaries-christian-africa-western-colonialism)


This is to help prepare students for the job market and also solve the problem of having a workforce with theoretical knowledge but no practical skills.

So how did we end up here? Here is a short history lesson on the Kenyan education system.

East African Community (7–4–2–3 System)

play 1930s picture of the new the Nairobi European School (Now Nairobi School). (Daily nation)


In 1967, Kenya, with Uganda and Tanzania adopted a single system of education, the 7–4–2–3, which consisted of 7 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education, 2 years of high school and 3–5 years of university education.


Kenya 7–4–2–3 System

After the collapse of the East African Community in 1977, Kenya continued with the same system of education but changed the examination names from their regional identity to a national identity.

play Colonial period European missionaries at St Stephens Church, Jogoo Road, Nairobi. (enzimuseum)


The East African Certificate of Primary Education, became the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE), the East African Certificate of Education became the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCE) and the East African Advanced Certificate of Education became the Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education (KACE).

8–4–4 Curriculum

In 1985 President Daniel arap Moi, introduced the 8–4–4 system of education, which adopted 8 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education and 4 years of university education. CPE became KCPE while KCE became KCSE.

play A view of the southern wing of the Royal Technical College of East Africa, later named the university of Nairobi in July,1956 (photodivision)


it would also be during Moi regime that hundred of schools be constructed and named after him, the former president was very passionate about education and he is credited for putting Kenya on the worlds map in terms of education

play ormer President Daniel Moi awards Fancy Chirchir for her extemporary performance in the KCSE 2015 examination during the 12th prize and thanks giving ceremony at Moi High School Kabarak (Dailynation)


2-6-6-3 system

if adopted, the last KCPE  will administered in 2018 and the last KCSE in 2021 while the first secondary examinations (senior secondary) under the new system will be done in 2023.

play Lavington Elementary School 1962 or 1963? (Marafiki Nairobi)
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