Over With 8-4-4 Curriculum: Ministry ready to implement CBC

Ezekiel Machogu, CS Education. He says the government is fully prepared to transit to the new curriculum. PHOTO/The Informer.
  • Regarding KCPE 2023, CS Machogu hailed exam officers for making exam materials available to candidates, even in exam centers cut off by floods. 
  • This year’s KCPE saw 8523 candidates register 400 marks and above, representing 0.6% of the total 2023 candidature. 
  • It remains to be seen how CBC will capture the assessment moments of our classrooms.  

The Ministry of Education is currently preparing a sessional paper to present to the National Assembly to anchor the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform into law. 

Speaking in Nairobi during the release of 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam results, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu announced that the government was fully prepared to transition to the new curriculum.

The transition

“The first cohort of Junior Secondary is undergoing quality learning and teaching. 

The teaching materials and tools are in place, and once schools open next year, we shall have another smooth transition to Grade 8. 

Our primary focus is to ensure all children progress to the next level of learning,” Machogu said.

He commended heads of institutions for their leadership and management in ensuring the transition from an outcome-based curriculum to a Competency-Based Curriculum was a success, amid administrative and structural challenges.

“In 1985, when the then Education Minister Peter Aringo released the first KCPE examination, he did not know the history of KCPE would be that long. 

Almost four decades later, I am privileged to join Kenyans in celebrating an education system that has co-created 26 million Kenyans.

Even as we welcome the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), we all agree that we have learned so much from the 8:4:4 curriculum,” he added.

Expressing gratitude

The Cabinet Secretary thanked the previous Heads of State for their commitment to equipping schools with the necessary materials and infrastructure. 

He commended primary school teachers for their selfless service to the nation during the 39 years. 

He mentioned the crucial role played by security agencies from the Information, Communication Technology, Internal Security, and the Public Administration for their resilience even in the wake of new technological innovations.

Parents, friends and teachers celebrate one of the candidates after excelling in the newly-released KCPE exam results. PHOTO/The Star.

“I thank the President of Kenya, Dr. William Ruto, for holding education close to his heart. 

Immediately, he assumed office, and in the wake of transition to CBC, the President formed a working committee on educational reforms, that has provided a clear roadmap in efforts to realize the vision and intention of Kenyans,” Machogu acknowledged.

He called upon all the stakeholders to stand with the government in its implementation of the CBC just as they did with the 8:4:4. 

CS Machogu stressed that the support from development partners saw education structures walk all the years and pleaded with parents and learners to have faith in the government as the transition takes center stage.

Regarding KCPE 2023, Machogu hailed exam officers for making exam materials available to candidates, even in exam centers cut off by floods. 

He said the candidates were able to do their examinations through their sacrifice and would now join secondary schools.

“I thank my colleagues Prof. Kithure Kindiki, CS Interior, and Eliud Owalo, CS ICT, for standing with me in an effort to ensure no candidate missed examinations. 

We have the capacity to accommodate all the candidates in secondary school, and all parents should take advantage of the 100% transition policy to enroll. 

I am asking parents not to panic since the new funding model for university education is dependent on need. 

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), has already released Sh. 5.2 billion to first-year students in the universities,” assured the CS.

Dr. David Njeng’ere, the CEO, Kenya National Examination Council, speaking at the ceremony, announced that Grade 6 candidates who sat the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) will have their assessment reports in three levels: at individual, school and national level, before joining junior secondary education. 

Dr. David Njengere, CEO, KNEC. He announced KPSEA candidates will receive their reports in good time to join JSS. PHOTO/PD.

He praised Center Managers and Education Officers from Vihiga and Taita Taveta for the successful registration of candidates.

Awarding excellence

The Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) CEO, Dr. Nancy Macharia, commended teachers for the “consistent and meticulous” 39 years of production of a robust generation of manpower. 

The teachers, according to Dr. Macharia, have ensured learners got quality education.

“Early this year, the TSC recognized 500 teachers for exemplary performance in both academics and co-curricular activities. The TSC is committed to awarding long serving examiners for more than 30 years.

We do not take your selfless contribution for granted, even as we continue to conduct trainings and workshops, to acquaint you with ways of doing things,” Macharia said.

Dr. Nancy Macharia, CEO and Secretary, TSC. She says for years, teachers have ensured learners get quality education. PHOTO/Kenya Insights.

Joseph Nyutu, Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, cautioned stakeholders against deviating from the concept of Competency-Based Curriculum.

“When 8:4:4 was started, its main goal was to offer technical skills. However, that was abandoned, and later slid to examination based. We should never allow our children to be assessed on one parameter since human beings are gifted differently,” Senator Nyutu said.

His counterpart from the National Assembly, Julius Melly, praised Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), for implementing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on the administration of national examinations. He asked Kenyans to embrace CBC since talent was vital.

Celebrating KCPE

At least 1.4 million candidates sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), joining the other 26 million other Kenyans, who have gone through the very system. 

In his address, CS Machogu hailed KCPE as having played a role in addressing gender parity. He said that in the early years, gender parity stood at 59.2% against 40.8% in favor of males. 

Emmaculate Wacheke from Gilgil Hills, Nakuru County, being celebrated after she scored 427 marks. PHOTO/Ben Ndonga.

He clarified that from 2013 – 2022, it has always been a near gender parity.

“This year, gender parity was 51.30% for males, against 48.70% for females. I must note that in 2023, females did better in English, Kiswahili and Sign Language. 

Shockingly though, it is only English Composition that registered improvement; all the other 8 subjects dropped in performance. The males did better in Maths and Science,” he added.

This year’s KCPE saw 8523 candidates register 400 marks and above, representing 0.6% of the total 2023 candidature. 

The CS also announced that 24.92% of the candidates scored 300 – 399 marks, the percentage representing 352,782 candidates. 

In the result, 658,278 candidates scored 200-299 marks, representing 48.49%. Other figures provided, included, 383,025 candidates, scored 100-199 marks, representing 27.05%, and 2,060, scoring 001 – 199 marks, representing 0.15%.

“This year, at least 205 potential candidates who had missed out on registration for the national examinations were able to register due to a waiver to sit for the examinations. 

These candidates now have the opportunity to join Form 1, in 2024. At least 9,354 learners who missed out on the national examinations will have an opportunity to sit for the national examinations in January 2024,” Machogu stated.

In releasing the results, the CS announced the highest candidate scored 428 out of 500 marks, even as two candidates got involved in cheating.

Michael Warutere, from Riara Springs Academy. He was top in this year’s KCPE, scoring 428 out of 500 marks. PHOTO/The Standard.

“Two candidates were involved in cheating. One of them was found with an unauthorized material, while the other was found with a mobile phone in the examination center,” he revealed.

The parents and candidates are expected to know their secondary schools soon, as the ministry embarks on the selection process as from November 27.

As Grade 6 candidates wait to know their fate, the country witnessed today the last colorful event that has defined the release of national examinations in the name of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. 

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It remains to be seen how CBC will capture the assessment moments of our classrooms.  

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Mr. Misori holds a Bachelor's degree in Education Arts, English and English literature from Mount Kenya University. He is the author of the book ''Village Under Siege'', a book reviewer, and a science journalist passionate about environment, health, climate change, education and agriculture. His email address is misori.village@gmail.com


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