Today will be a defining moment for both the government and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) as the training of close to 100,000 teachers for new curriculum starts.
The Ministry of Education has vowed to continue with the exercise, while Knut has asked teachers to stay away from the training saying by participating in the training they will be engaging in an illegality.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will launch the exercise at Uhuru Gardens Primary School in Nairobi.
The training will be conducted at zonal levels across the country until Friday.
Already 172 officers drawn from various organisations such as TSC, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) have been trained and distributed to various parts of the country to support the training of teachers.
The master trainers have been distributed in 43 regions to train and include 515 quality assurance and standards officers (QASOs), 1165 Curriculum support Officers, and 1320 competency based curriculum (CBC) champion teachers.
These officers will train 68,490 teachers (three teachers per school, one in lower primary, two in Grade Four) 22,830 headteachers.
“Total number of teachers to be trained in April are 91, 320,” said TSC in a brief adding that the raining will be done through a smart cascade model where master trainers will offer support in the training of teachers.
From April 28 to May 17, training of Ministry of Education and TSC officials will take place under World Bank funded programme.
“This training will be done through smart cascade model where 36 master trainers drawn from the ministry’s agencies. Thereafter, they will train 1,200 education officers drawn from the MoE Headquarters, County and Sub County offices,” adds the brief.
Senior Education lecturer at Daystar University Dr Wandia Njoya and a critic of the review process argues that the exercise is being driven by political interests.
Dr Njoya insists that Kenyans have not been fully consulted on the review process and the review is being done for political reasons.
“The argument by those in the government is that the new curriculum will prepare leaners for the market with focus on skill and nothing on knowledge. It has become neoliberal. We do not care what students become what we care about is how they serve the market,” she states in a conversation with another education expert Michael Dawson.
She also insists that it is foreign driven.
Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said: “The law requires that in an exercise of such magnitude must have guidelines and a gazetted commission to anchor the entire process. Besides, the due process of reforming the content of the curriculum was never followed to the letter, hence making the entire exercise illegal.”