Matiang'i forced to hold urgent meeting on Opening Day

Public schools opened Tuesday morning.

Reports on Tuesday revealed that the closed door meeting in his office in Nairobi was to shade light on how the new, yet controversial 2-6-3-3 curriculum that took effect on Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, after a section of teachers ‘unions expressed dissatisfaction, would be implemented.

New changes

The dilemma that hit the Ministry of Education is whether the already 170,000 trained teachers who will steer the program will comfortably handle the new change.

Teachers have in the recent past expressed fears that the government failed to provide and equip required laboratories, as the new curriculum is more practical as opposed to the now defunct 8-4-4 system, which is primarilyt centered on examinations.

Mr Eric Mugambi sued the Ministry and KICD and pleaded with the court to order an injunction on the roll out of the 2-6-3-3 curriculum.

Interim orders

“A six-year implantation strategy will cause a crisis in our schools by admitting two different cohorts of classes the same time into junior secondary schools in 2020 and 2021 when grade six and standard eight students will need admission in secondary education,” Mr Mugambi argued.

Mombasa High Court Justice Eric Ogola declined to grant the interim orders that were sought by Mr Mugambi, pending a fair hearing from all the accused parties.

Mr Mugambi demanded that the Ministry of Education and the KICD be restrained from training staff in preparation for the roll out of the new curriculum and also to compel the respondents hold a national conference within the next 60 days. The conference, he argued, would be instrumental in explaining critical issues being raised by Kenyans about the curriculum.

Dr Matiang’i through the Attorney General’s office, pleaded with the court to give more time as the issues raised by Mr Mugambi were “weighty, we need to get sufficient time to prepare ourselves,” AG’s counsel Mr Richard Ngandi told the court in Mombasa.

Proposed system

Earlier, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in partnership with the Ministry of Education had given a roadmap of the implementation of the new curriculum, with a one-week training forum for teachers.

The new proposed system, Dr Matiang’i’s team said earlier, has three tiers: Early years, consisting of Pre-primary One to Grade Three; middle-school, comprising Grades Four to Nine; and senior school, running from Grade 10 to 12.

The accused earlier explained that the new curriculum sought to equip learners with seven key skills: communication and collaboration; self-efficacy; critical thinking and problem solving; creativity and imagination; citizenship; digital literacy; and learning to learn. The petitioner, however, is opposed to this arrangement.

Already KICD has trained over 170,000 teachers who will oversee the implementation of the new curriculum.

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