Region seeks common ground, skills for youth, in new education systems



Governments in the East African region see changes in their respective instruction system as just one extended-phrase solution to joblessness. But, while international locations in the location all agree to change what they train, there is small widespread floor or harmony between them, some specialists say.

In Kenya, the Competency Dependent Curriculum (CBC) may 1st have to move the resistance phase. Officers say it exposes little ones to their occupation pursuits suitable from elementary level. This, authorities add, can construct a team of learners who can pick vocation paths without the need of throwing away time in mastering everything. But, considering that the system was released in 2017, it has been faced with complaints of superior charge of mastering products, with dad and mom most situations pressured to do homework with their youngsters.

Kenya’s CBC is a 2-6-3-3-3 procedure, which means pupils consider two a long time in pre-major stage, six several years in main, a few yrs in junior secondary, 3 yrs in senior secondary and 3 yrs in tertiary schooling. Considering the fact that 1985, Kenya had been making use of the 8-4-4 method, where learners took 16 many years to full a cycle. It was criticised for just equipping college students for examinations fairly than put together them for world’s realities.

East African Community member nations have diverse education and learning units with learners paying involving 16 years (South Sudan and Rwanda) and 20 decades (Burundi) from pre-major to college.

Aim of reforms

With this divergence, experts say reforms have to target on generating equivalent discovering environments.


Samuel Otieno, director of the Regional Training Studying Initiative, an NGO on schooling coverage in East Africa, says EAC states have to address harmony primarily due to the fact the labour market may well grow under integration.

“What nations such as Tanzania and Uganda are accomplishing is infusing 21st century techniques into their curriculum although keeping their procedure,” he stated.


Pauline Musyoka a teacher at Mariakani Major School in Nairobi shows Quality 3 pupils how to use a tablet all through an e-discovering occasion by Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) on September 8, 2021. Photo | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

A drive for the harmonised curriculum, he reported, will align the region’s economic desires and change the good quality of schooling. He argued that overhauling an education technique is vital, but the area need to concentrate on exact same things to address troubles these types of as correct preparing for learners, localising articles and instruction sufficient teachers, besides raising funding allocation for teachers.

Rwanda has built wonderful strides in its instruction technique about the past 12 many years, shifting from expertise-based mostly to the competency-primarily based curriculum.

In Kenya, authorities say the CBC is a response to policy alterations in just the EAC.

“The East Africa Community Protocol 2012 precipitated harmonisation of curricula in East Africa and adoption of CBC in the region,” reported Prof Charles Ong’ondo, main executive of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Improvement.

The protocol essential countries to adopt a competency-dependent curriculum to boost regional quality of education and align it with the world industry competencies.

The EAC Harmonised Curriculum Structures and Framework says a uniform curriculum will foster regional integration by facilitating easy movement of learners across states.

“This will only be attained when the education systems in the respective countries cultivate the regional plans of education, targets of key training and vital finding out competencies,” the framework claims.

Kenya is at Quality Six of the new curriculum and plans to admit the 1st cohort of junior secondary students in January 2023 despite criticism that the curriculum is avoidable and un researched.

According to the Kenya’s CBC Taskforce report, at senior secondary university, learners will go after three pathways: 60 per cent stem (science, know-how, engineering and mathematics) classes, 25 p.c social sciences and 15 percent sports activities, science and art. Every senior secondary university ought to offer at the very least two pathways.

It is projected that in 2026, there will be 1.25 million learners transiting to senior secondary college, which phone calls for even more enlargement of the educational facilities.

At present, the govt is constructing at least 10,000 school rooms worthy of Ksh8 billion ($68.6 million) in preparing for the junior secondary college rollout following 12 months.

Spectre of unemployment

In Kenya, unemployment remains a challenge, as lots of youth are unable to come across work opportunities soon after graduation. Additional than 800,000 students graduate annually from different schools and universities, but a lower proportion secure jobs.

With the new curriculum, the authorities states students will be equipped to select their preferred occupation paths at the senior secondary school and progress with the route at the college and college degree, supplying them much better chances in the world-wide position current market.

Education and learning Ministry Principal Secretary for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms Prof Fatuma Chege explained there will be a review of the secondary training placement rules to present obvious standards, like the use of assessments, for placement of learners in junior secondary universities.

“The ministry has mapped all secondary educational facilities and is progressively bettering infrastructure and will present important demands for the rollout of the CBC in the colleges,” she reported.

The taskforce report has considering that recommended that the Ministry of Schooling should really discover faculties that can host the a few pathways and progressively improve their infrastructure ability.

In Tanzania, the debate above understanding versus competency-based mostly instruction featured in parliament all through a discussion on the Ministry of Education’s 2022/2023 price range estimates.

Legislators pressed the govt for prepared education and learning sector reforms, including a review of the curriculum to emphasise technical and daily life capabilities topics and nurture skills and vocational competencies from major college.

Instruction Minister Prof Adolf Mkenda tabled a price range estimate of just down below Tsh1.5 trillion ($649.3 million) for the 2022/2023 economic calendar year, which will also deal with education and learning plan tweaks and proposed amendments to the 1978 National Schooling Act.

According to Prof Mkenda, reforms will emphasise vocational and complex training, including that they will deal with policy, curriculum, quality of academics, trainers and lecturers, and instructing facilities.

Community fears have been developing in around the competency of Tanzanian graduates in the occupation current market.

MPs underscored the current fact, in which several pupils finishing fundamental most important, O-Degree and A-Degree education are getting by themselves unemployable.

In his presentation, Prof Mkenda said the reforms would prevent haphazard imposition of unresearched and uncoordinated adjustments to instruction.