Reform curriculum, urge experts

Education experts have called for an overhaul of the school curriculum to conform to the demands of the changing labour market.

The experts told the National Conference on Curriculum Reforms in Nairobi that reforms must be skills and competencies based as opposed to examination oriented.

Deputy President William Ruto and Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i with pupils during the conference 30 March, 2016 in Nairobi.

 They said quality of the new curriculum should have thematic approaches relevant to the 21st century.

"The new curriculum must produce skilled manpower with ability to use Information Communication Technology, with life skills and emotional intelligence,” said Prof Laban Ayiro.

Professor Harry Kaane said: “The reforms must align our education system to nurture individual talents. The 900,000 children dropping out of school at age 12 to 15 years should learn skills to make them useful members of the society.”

Mental character

Deputy President William Ruto outlined the importance of the education curriculum whose outcome will impact greatly on the mental character of the nation.

 “Children will be as good as the education they receive and society is as good as the education of its people,” said Mr Ruto.

 “We need a curriculum that competes with Japan, Korea, China and America. That is the scale of our task; that is how high we must aim,” he added.

The Deputy President noted that reforming the country’s education curriculum is in fulfillment of one of its pre-election pledges.

“For the last three years, we have been relooking at our education curriculum and came to the conclusion that it needs reforms, which has culminated in this extremely important conversation,” he said.

Learners into winners

Mr Ruto said in an era where human capital is critical there is need to adequately capture the skills, values and attitudes that will transform learners into winners.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Dr Fred Matiangi said he will name a team to steer the process next week.

“The team, which will bring together parents, religious organisations, the civil society, teachers’ unions among others, will consult widely to come up with an education curriculum that will be acceptable to all,” he said.