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National exams to be scrapped under new curriculum

A new education system that will replace the 8-4-4 was unveiled on Monday and will phase out the national examinations currently done at the end of primary and secondary school cycles.

Unlike the current system that is heavily focused on examinations, the new one will be competency-based and will give more emphasis on identification of talents and nurturing them.

The new system puts emphasis on continuous assessment tests rather than end of cycle tests. The focus is to equip learners with skills rather than having them cram and reproduce facts.

Learners will take two years in early childhood education, three in lower primary, three in upper primary, three in lower secondary and three in senior secondary.

The National Basic Education Curriculum Framework that has been working on the system has not however indicated how many years will be spent in tertiary institutions.


According to the new framework, the new system will give every child a chance to succeed in life by carving out pathways that develop  their interests and allow them to live and work  locally, nationally and globally.

Initially, it  had been planned that the new curriculum would be piloted in May and rolled out in January next year, but that is not conclusive yet.

This is because the syllabuses as well as teaching and learning materials have not been produced. Neither has training been done for teachers nor the modules for teacher training been concluded.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who launched the system at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi asked Kenyans to continue making suggestions on it with a view of improving it.

“We should make it better and avoid negative views,” he  said and directed the Kenya Institute of Curriculum development to hold quarterly meetings with stakeholders to enrich the system, adding that the Government had a specific budget for the review process.