The Presidential Working Party on education reforms has made far-reaching recommendations on the education sector in the country.
The changes recommended include the scrapping of the categorization of secondary schools and the removal of compulsory subjects for career choices.
With just a few days to the expiry of its term, the Working Party on education reforms is winding down its work with a presentation of a raft of measures that could change the education landscape, right from ECD to university.
In a stakeholders meeting held earlier this week, the Working Party recommended that the traditional categorization of secondary schools into National, Extra County, County and Sub-County schools be phased out with the 8-4-4 system; instead. under the CBC system, the schools will be categorized in line with the career pathways of learners.
In line with the CBC curriculum, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) will be renamed the Kenya National Assessment Council (KNAC).
Under the changes aligned with the transition to CBC at the high school level, the party recommends that learners have options in subjects that will determine their careers.
In this aspect, learners will have to choose between combinations like English or Kiswahili, Maths or Science, and any other five subjects at the O-level of study; this will be accompanied by a leaner number of subjects at the Junior Secondary School level.
The party has also asked the KICD to rationalize the number of learning areas at Junior High. Currently, students are expected to study a total of 14 subjects.
The party also wants the university education curriculum to be aligned with the CBC one for ease of transition.
More significantly, the party wants universities limited from offering Certificates and Diploma courses.
If the party’s recommendations are to be approved and implemented, then the Chancellors and their deputies’ recruitment will move from the Public Service Commission to the universities’ councils for appointment by the President through the Education Cabinet Secretary.
Further, in the universities, they proposed that the election of student council leaders be held every two years, while the appointment of Deans of schools and faculties in the universities will also be done competitively.
The party’s recommendations, if approved, will serve to significantly change the functions of the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), including empowering it to employ nursery teachers, a duty currently done by county governments.
The changes suggested would also trim TSC’s powers by stripping it of the function of regulating the teaching profession and leaving it with only the performance of its human resource function.
Teachers’ training will also be reformed with trainee teachers now being required to undergo a one-year teaching practice before graduation.
The Working Party has also proposed that all boards on bursaries and scholarships be collapsed into one central pot, while the university funding model has already been reformed.
The Working Party has, however, maintained that the CBC system with instructions to the KICD to rationalize the system’s number of learning areas.