There is a lot of hope for our government’s new standard curriculum.
Our previous curriculum involved Grade 8 and Form 4 (grade 12) national testing. The new curriculum is slated to introduce similar national exams in Grades 3, 6 and 12.
The aim of the new curriculum is to tailor an education system that recognizes skills and competencies, not just knowledge on the basis of good grades. In essence, the intent is best understood as: You cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.
This means each student is recognized as unique in their comprehension, analysis, retention and explanation.
This September, for the first time ever, all our students will be sitting for the grade 3 examinations in math, English, Swahili and life skills.
This change is born of the inherent challenges of student admissions, in that with new school admissions, students often lack the credentials needed to easily identify a student’s instructional level. We had no other choice than to admit students without knowledge of their educational history.
With the new curriculum, teachers will be able to evaluate the results of standardized testing and place the students in the appropriate grade level based on students’ competencies.
Through written and oral testing, the new curriculum also introduces a continuous assessment process which enables teachers to better assess whether students are able to read, write and communicate to the appropriate grade level. A student folder is also kept for each student by the headteacher in order to further monitor the students progress.
Parents are also encouraged to be more active in their children’s education.
This is all done to examine each individual student’s gifts and to nurture his/her unique talents.
With all the potential our new curriculum offers, it is important to not lose sight that:
Potential must be empowered by action to reach its promise.
For this new curriculum to be successful, it is imperative to put in place workshops, sports equipment and all types laboratories to broaden the access to learning tools for our young students, affording the opportunities for our students to further develop their interests and establish their talents at a young age. The government should also continue to facilitate seminars and talks to equip teachers with the right knowledge of what is expected of them.
The biggest question as we move ahead:
Does the government have the capacity to facilitate rolling out the new curriculum?
Only time will tell…