The new Kenyan Education is meant to replace the 8-4-4 Education System. In 1985, the nation sought an alternative education program which is the current 8-4-4 from 7-4-2-3. This is the second time Kenya is seeking to change the education system from 8-4-4 to 2-6-3-3-3 system of Education.
The 2-6-3-3-3 Education System is aimed at countering 8-4-4 System limitations. 8-4-4 is quite expensive, has high unemployment rate which is at 7.5 per cent, it’s onerous and broad to learners.
There will be no sitting examinations but rather Continuous Assessment Tests (CATS) to test on the skills imparted to the students. This is unlike 8-4-4 system where learners crammed contents to pass the exams. The new curriculum targets maximum utilization of talents to achieve a living, goes beyond academics and the good thing is that Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is integrated in all levels.
The 2-6-3-3-3 new Curriculum consists of 5 levels; 2 years in the pre-primary, 6 years in the primary, 3 years in the Junior Secondary, 3 years in the Senior secondary school and 3 years in the vocational training or the University which will be optional for the students.
Lower Primary (2 years)
The following subjects will be offered in the lower primary;
- Mother tongue
- Social Studies and
- Agriculture activities
Upper Primary (6 years)
The following subjects will be offered in in the upper primary;
- Home Science
- Science and Technology
- Creative Arts (Crafts, Art and Music)
- Moral and Life Skills
- Physical and Health Education
There will be optional subjects at this level which includes;
- Social Studies (Citizenship, Geography and History)
- Foreign Languages (German, Chinese, French and Arabic)
Junior and Senior Secondary (3 years each)
Junior Secondary is composed of Grade 7, 8 and 9 while Senior Secondary has Grade 10, 11 and 12.
There are 12 core subjects offered in the Junior Secondary;
- Life Skills
- Health Education
- Social Studies
- Business Studies
- Integrated Sciences
- Religious Studies
- Physical Education
For the optional subjects at this level, the learner is to take a minimum of one subject and a maximum of two which are most favorable to the learner in regards to their abilities, interest, career choices and personality.
The optional subjects include;
- Home Science
- Foreign Language
- Kenyan Sign Language
- Indigenous languages
- Visual arts
- Performing Arts
The age of the Senior Secondary students is between 15-17 years. In this level, students will have 3 areas of specialization depending on their talent, skills and interests. The areas of specialization are arts and sports Sciences, Social Sciences and Sciences, Technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Once the students complete the senior secondary level, they have an option of joining the Vocational Training Centers or the Universities of their choice.
Challenges facing the new Education System
There is a deficit of 87,000 teachers as reported by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). This means that the ratio of the teacher to students is very minimal. Owing to the fact that this system is more practical than oral teaching, the process will be challenging.
The teachers will need extra training on this new curriculum which is costly.