The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has trained 60,000 secondary school teachers on Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) to handle the first cohort of 1.2 million Junior Secondary School (JSS) learners who will transition to Grade 7 next year.
The teacher’s employer has also trained some 229,000 primary school teachers on CBC.
The commission’s chief executive Nancy Macharia said the training will be continuing to support all teachers and equip them with the necessary skills to effectively deliver CBC.
“Additionally, all field officers and CSOs have been trained on CBC to understand the curriculum and be able to give instructional support during the implementation of the competency-based curriculum,” said Ms Macharia in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Julius Olaya, TSC director of human resource and management.
The employer told the 10,000 teachers attending the annual conference in Mombasa that the commission will also retool teachers who will be deployed to teach Grade 7 to ensure that they meet the expected standards.
“The 21st Century lesson is learner-centred and requires teacher creativity to have the core competencies of CBC embedded in all the learning areas. Creativity is a very wide concept which includes going beyond the curriculum and exploring learning approaches that can help develop the imagination, innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving of the learners while making them happy and willing to learn,” she said.
She urged teachers to employ learning experiences that ignite the urge of the learners to acquire new skills, knowledge, and competencies.
Even though a good number of teachers today are tech-savvy, the TSC boss said most are still learning to integrate Information, Communication, and technology (ICT) in the learning and teaching within the CBC.
Through CBC training programmes, the commission said it is committed to continuously supporting teachers in ICT integration, for them to effectively implement the new curriculum.
This comes as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) announced that Grade 7 curriculum designs were ready.
KICD director Prof Charles Ong’ondo said the Grade 7 curriculum designs will be in school by January 23 next year.
Headteachers were urged to expose teachers qualified to teach JSS and those assigned Grade 7 to the curriculum designs once they are sent to the respective schools.
Ms Macharia said the commission, through its remote learning programme, has trained 63,398 teachers on the use of different online platforms for teaching and learning to enable them to access content online and deliver lessons remotely.
“As key implementers and facilitators of CBC, the new curriculum is a canoe that must be paddled by all stakeholders. Parents and guardians are the first educators of our learners. Unlike the 8-4-4 system of education where parents provided requisite resources and sat back to wait for results from teachers, the new curriculum is a joint venture that must involve the parent, teacher, and learner,” she said.
Ms Macharia urged the school managers to go the extra mile to educate the parents on what CBC entails and their roles in the new curriculum dispensation.
She said teachers should work with parents to put in place support systems that minimise or curb learner absenteeism.
“Learner absenteeism is one of the major precursors to poor academic performance. The current curriculum has been designed in such a way that most of the activities happen almost at the same time and therefore if a learner is absent, it becomes quite difficult to catch up with the others who were in school during his/her absence,” warned Ms Macharia.
TSC said the state has deployed adequate CBC-competent tutors in Teacher Training Colleges.
She said by the time the current teacher trainees graduate from the colleges, they will have gained enough skills to deliver the CBC.
TSC Chairman Mr Jamleck Muturi said CBC will equip learners with the requisite skills to cope with the 21st-century knowledge economy, which encourages multi-disciplinary training and innovative thinking.
“Through CBC, we are making a clear departure from the 19th Century education where we trained learners to be employed in factories and farms. CBC nurtures talent that will unlock infinite potential in our children and put them in this new space of global competitiveness,” said Dr Muturi.