KICD Wants Education Reforms streamlined by a Council, Opposes Commissions
A proposal has now been made to have a consistent body that looks into education reforms in the country.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Director, Prof Charles Ong’ondo on Tuesday proposed the need to form a Council that brings a broad spectrum of stakeholders and practitioners, instead of having to establish task forces and Commission over time to look into education reforms.
“The suggestion is that we have a more or less consistent body, it does not have to be permanent. It could be a body that we call once in a while as long as we know who is represented, which continually thinks about things like our curricula and offers suggestions on how we can improve education going forward. I think then they will consistently have in mind what other bodies have thought about, where we are as a country and where we are going,” said Ong’ondo, during the ongoing African Curriculum Association (ACA) conference being held at KICD.
The Director explained that KICD is a facilitator of curriculum development processes and members of the board are mostly educators.
But with a Council in place, he said it would bring a bigger body that can then feed in a safe environment into KICD, whose day to day is facilitation of curriculum development processes.
Should that kind be conceptualised, Ong’ondo said the country can also think about other roles it should be given and one of them could be funding models for higher education and resource mobilisation for implementation of education.
The proposal is premised on the fact that the country has had close to 10 or more Commissions, task forces or presidential working parties on education in the country, which have all done a good job.
These include the Ominde Commission of 1964, Gachathi Commission of 1976, Kamunge Commission of 1988, Koech Commission in 1999, Douglas Odhiambo taskforce in 2012, Fatuma Chege taskforce of 2019 and now there is the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms
“When you read all these taskforce reports keenly, and I have taken time to analyse their objectives and key recommendations, you find a bit of consistency. Incidentally the consistency is towards Competency Based Curriculum. It says we should have a curriculum that is flexible, gives every learner an opportunity and values and to that extent we are consistent,” he explained.
He however said there are some variations in terms of their suggestions on content, pedagogical approaches and suggestions on resources as well structure of basic education
“Because of that, it means every time recommendations come, the country is geared towards how to implement and before you have settled another commission report comes up. Even as we talk now, the current working party has come up with recommendations and I do not think it will be the last,” he stated.
Ong’ondo said one of the reasons that CBC has survived is because the President was fully briefed about the system and he believes in a curriculum where every learner has a future.
At the same time, Ong’ondo called for the need to have a consistent curriculum development framework in Africa.
“The real reason for that is that the vision for curriculum development across Africa is shared and our vision is to catch up with the rest of the world,” he said.
The Director noted the need to provide flexible curriculum where no learner is left behind, saying it is essential for Africa to create a system whereby as people move from one country to another in the continent because of work, culture and relatives, learning can continue.
He also said a framework is required because right now, the East Africa has one that guides curriculum development and implementation in the region and so does West and Southern Africa.
“It is now time to harness this so that we are able to move together. Kenya is one of the few countries that have a Basic Education Curriculum Framework so we are telling leaders in their countries to come up with their own,” he said
If an African Curriculum Development Framework is to be developed, it means harnessing what other countries have and Kenya will take leadership by showing what it has been able to produce.