By Mariselah Kimbio (14/06/2023)

2017 Kenya reformed its education curriculum, introducing the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) for lower primary education.

The first cohort of approximately 1.2 million children to adopt the new curriculum joined Junior Secondary School (JSS) earlier this year.

With the government budgeting for Sh.81B to fund the education Ministry, only Sh.24B has been disbursed.

So far, the ministry has only received Sh.4.4B since January, 45% of what was allocated.

According to the Ministry of Education, the money is still being used to fund the first term meaning that schools are yet to receive money for the second term ending in July.

“Schools are still receiving the same funds since 2008, even with the high cost of living,” says Kennedy
Echesa, a legal and education expert.

Most students are not registered for school due to a lack of birth certificates, altering the ministry’s logistics on fund allocation.

Speaking on the matter, the chief consul from Opticum Group, Amos Kaburu, suggested funds should be released according to the number of students per school to promote equity.

“It is not too much money configuration of the expense is the problem. The new curriculum has actually
made it expensive,” says Kaburu.

With the rising cost of living, the education sector is also experiencing the burden in so many ways.

One is the cost of food commodities that have tripled in price while the government is still budgeting with the old prices.

This has caused most schools to experience a shortage of food supply, hence poor performance.

The ongoing games across the country are also experiencing a challenge in funding the sports.

Schools are therefore requesting the government to issue the money they promised without demanding an increase.

Various experts have since argued that the new curriculum is quite expensive, with Kenya experiencing a shortage of funds. They advise the ministry to consider bringing back the old curriculum.

The government raising funds to fund the curriculum might make CBC better.

Commenting on the proposed reforms in the education sector, experts claim it is unreasonable for the ministry to ask for more money from the government.

The government has proposed limiting universities from offering certificate and diploma courses. It has also been argued to let the Senate decide what to teach.

Working parties are also seeking to scrap off the categorization of secondary schools and create a formula to ensure equity for all levels of schools in Kenya.

Kennedy Echesa, a legal and education expert, urges universities to empower more youth to take education courses to produce more teachers and improve the quality of education administered to learners.

Teachers will then be required to participate in a one-year practicum before graduating, similar to an internship.

The working party also recommends learners choose subjects that will determine their career, choosing seven at the O-level followed by a leaner number at the JSS.

Highlights of the education reforms proposed by the Presidential Working Party:

  • Scrapping of the categorization of secondary schools and schools to be categorized in line with the
    career pathways of learners.
  • Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to be renamed the Kenya National Assessment Council
  • Functions of TSC include employing nursery teachers. It will also no longer be regulating the
    teaching profession.
  • Removal of compulsory subjects giving learners the opportunity to choose between English or
    Kiswahili, Math or science, and any other 5 subjects at the O-level of study.
  • Universities are to be limited from offering certificates and diploma courses, and the curriculum is to be
    aligned with CBC.
  • Election of student council leaders in the university is to be held after every 2 years and the appointment of
    deans of schools to also be done competitively.
  • Teacher to undergo 1-year teaching practice as training before graduation.
  • All boards on bursaries are to be collapsed and KICD is to rationalize the number of learning areas at Junior High.