Its now clear the 8-4-4 system of education that started in 1885 will be replaced by 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum design. This will mark the second time second time the country is adopting a new education system. In 1985, 8-4-4 system of education was rolled to replace 7-4-2-3. The 7-4-2-3 of education was highly criticized because it failed produce graduates who could meet the demands of labor market which was slowly beginning to embrace technology.
Just like its predecessor, the 8-4-4 system has been faulted for not catering for changing societal demands. Experts have said the system only prepares school leavers for white collar jobs while crucial elements like agriculture, fishing and construction that can propel the country’s economic growth to greater heights are left out.
The new competence based curriculum will seal the gaps identified in 8-4-4 education system. This is because the system is skills-based, unlike the current that trains learners to cram and pass exams. In 2-6-3-3-3 system, learners will not sit exams but they will be evaluated through Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) on the skills acquired.
The government has announced that the implementation of new system will kick off January 2019.
2-6-3-3-3 system will be rolled out in January next year (2019) covering nursery, Standard One, Two and Three. The system is then expected to be rolled out in Standard Four to Six in 2020.
In 2021, the system will be extended to Form Two only and in the following year it will cover Form Three. In 2023, it will be rolled out in Form Four.
Here is the simplified breakdown of the 2-6-3-3-3 education system
One of the most unique feature of this system is that learners will not only depend of academic knowledge gained but also individual talent will form key ingredient in making a living. In addition to this, ICT has been integrated at all levels of learning.
Pre-primary -2 years
This is the entry level for all learners. It takes 2 years. Subjects to be taught include Language Activities, Mathematical Activities, Environmental Activities, Psychomotor and Creative Activities and Religious Education Activities.
The learners from pre-primary 2 will join lower primary in grade 1.
Lower Primary -3 years
Learners will spend three years at this level before graduating to Upper primary.
lower primary are Kiswahili, English, literacy, and mother tongue as well as science, social studies and agricultural activities.
Upper primary -3 years
Subjects in Upper primary will include Kiswahili, English, Mathematics, Home Science, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Creative Arts (art, craft and music), Moral and Life Skills and Physical and Health Education.
Others are social studies (citizenship, geography and history) with an option of a foreign language (French, German, Chinese and Arabic).
Junior Secondary (grades 7, 8 and 9) -3 years
Graduates of upper primary will join junior secondary at grade 7. This level will take three years and twelve core subjects among them Mathematics, Kiswahili, English, life skills, health education, social studies, integrated science, business studies, religious education, agriculture, life skills, sports and physical education) shall be taught.
However learners will expected to choose subjects that perfectly suit their career choices, personalities, abilities and interests.
Home science, foreign languages, Kenyan sign language, indigenous languages, visual arts, performing arts, Arabic and computer science will be optional at junior secondary.
Senior Secondary (grades 10,11 and 12) – 3 years
This level will take three years and its completion will mark the end of basic education. Three areas of specialization will take center stage at this level. They include arts and sports science, social sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
A school will choose to focus in one or more area of specialisation depending on the ability to acquire the infrastructure necessary for acquisition of the identified competencies.
Graduates from this level will have the option to join vocational training centres or pursue university education for three years.