Why Kenya Changed Its Education System

Kenya is in the process of changing its education system from the 8-4-4 curriculum to the competence based learning in order to address a number of challenges.

The changes are expected to help improve the quality of education in Kenya. These changes have been a long time coming for many reasons. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of those reasons why Kenya is changing their education system!

The 8-4-4 was too academic

A qualitative study found that children couldn’t articulate what they learned because so much content was being pushed on them. The learners had to cram so many subjects into their heads that the quality of education suffered.

This curriculum also concentrated on passing exams at the expense of teaching children life skills. It only favored people who were good at memorization and not those with analytical skills or those with curiosity for knowledge. Most importantly, it didn’t encourage students to find out more about themselves through research projects in class-room settings.

The new curriculum which is based on competencies will focus on teaching children a set of skills and it will enable them think critically and creatively so as to be able to empower themselves economically. It’s not all about passing exams, but how they will apply the knowledge they have acquired.

Lack of entrepreneurial skills

The old education system put so much emphasis on being employed instead of entrepreneurship. This led to a situation where there were more graduates seeking jobs rather than them starting their own businesses that they can use to employ themselves and others. As a result the unemployment rate in Kenya soared to a record 10.4% as at December 2020 according to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics.

See also  Competency based curriculum in Kenya

To solve this problem, Kenya had to develop a curriculum that will change the paradigm shift from an employment-based economy to one of entrepreneurship. This requires people who can think critically and creatively to come up with new ideas, products and services that will foster economic growth. The old system failed kids in this regard as it was all about getting a job!

As an entrepreneur, I can attest to the fact that creativity and critical thinking are a must if you want your business venture to succeed. The new educational system is designed from scratch with entrepreneurship as its focus point, so that young people can learn how to create ideas into viable products/services and develop solutions they need for themselves and their communities.

Emergence of social vices

Due to the high unemployment rate ,drug and substance abuse and also crime was on the rise. This was because there were few opportunities for young people to take part in meaningful activities that will prepare them for a successful career.

The old system of education had failed Kenyans and it needed to be reformed or completely rewritten if we wanted our country to succeed, prosper economically and reduce these social vices.

The competence based curriculum is designed to give more attention to vocational training so that students may be able to undertake various income generating activities upon graduation and not stay idle.

Nurturing of gifts and talents

Kenyans are gifted in various areas and we need to encourage them to explore their talents. The old system of education did not do this as it had a general syllabus that was designed for everyone.

See also  Education Reforms in Kenya since Independence

The new curriculum is more personalized so that children can discover the talents they have been endowed with early on in life and perfect these gifts to create jobs, wealth creation and economic growth for themselves and the country in future.

With the new curriculum the country will have more athletes like David Rudisha’s and Pamela Jelimo or more musicians such as Bahati.

Lack of quality education

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