More than 90,000 primary school teachers started a one-week training on the competency based curriculum (CBC) yesterday in preparation for the Grade 5 roll-out in July.
The training will be conducted at the zonal level at different venues countrywide.
The training targets three teachers from each of the 32,300 primary schools in Kenya (the head teacher and two teachers, one from Grade 1 to 3 and another one from Grade 4 to 5). Teachers from special needs schools will also be trained.
The teachers will be trained by curriculum support officers and CBC champions who were trained last week.
In a letter to regional and county directors, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Quality Assurance and Standards Director Reuben Nthamburi instructed them to identify and invite the teachers to be trained, coordinate and monitor the training sessions. They are also expected to prepare and submit a training report at the end of the exercise.
“They should have at least 15 teachers per training room,” the circular reads, stressing the need for observance of Covid-19 guidelines.
The teachers will be trained on curriculum designs, methodology and continuous assessment, which has been one of the most significant changes in CBC. Under the new system, teachers will be the key assessors as national examinations will be done away with.
“Where there are no special schools, invite one teacher from selected special units,” the circular reads.
CBC has adopted a cumulative approach to assessment where a learner’s achievement is measured and the scores stored until they complete their primary education at Grade Six.
There have been concerns that teachers have not been adequately trained on the assessment, which is a critical component of the CBC and will have an impact on the learners’ lives.
The assessments will be administered by the Kenya National Examinations Council, which will now be more involved in the learning process.
The Grade 4 class undertook a national formative assessment in March and will have another one in February next year at the end of Grade 5. Each of these will account for 20 per cent of their final score, alongside one more formative assessment in Grade Six. The other 40 per cent will be derived from a summative assessment.
The Ministry of Education will transition Grade 4 learners to Grade 5 when the new academic year begins on July 26, this year. The learners are currently at home as they completed their syllabus in March, having opened last year alongside the examination classes but ahead of the others.
TSC has been conducting in-service training of teachers since the CBC was rolled out. It targets to train 180,000 teachers on CBC in the 2021/2022 financial year and 23,000 school administrators. The commission has a budget of Sh1 billion for teacher capacity development.
In a move to get fit-for-purpose teachers, the government will from this year only admit teachers for a diploma course that is tailored to the CBC. The initiative, however, leaves the fate of thousands of unemployed primary teaching certificate holders in limbo. TSC is yet to begin training secondary school teachers on CBC although they are expected to receive the first class in January 2023.
Meanwhile, Knut yesterday protested a schedule of the training that includes today, which is a public holiday.