Change is the only constant in life, and the education sector in Kenya has not been spared in this regard. Changes over the years have helped reach those not in school and those geared towards the current technological trends in the world. If well managed, these changes could help churn out some of the, best innovations, professionals and business-minded people in the world. Let us look at some of them,
- Mobile schools in Kenya
Nomadic pastoralism is still alive in many parts of Kenya and Africa. This means that some parents move along with their school-going children in their search for pasture. This gravely affects their education as they cannot attend school on a regular basis. Having seen this problem, the Kenyan government, in conjunction with the UNICEF, launched mobile schools to enable the children move with their schools from one place to another.
The program, started in 2010, allows teachers to move with the groups of pastoralists and set up temporary schools and tents in different places. The mobile schools in Kenya plan their school calendar around the rainy seasons when the students do not have many household chores to do.
- Digital learning programs
At the moment, technology is playing a big role in changing the way education is carried out in Africa. With e-learning, programmes, students are now graduating from well-known universities across the world that they would not have set foot in a few years ago.
The e-learning programs have not only made expensive programs cheaper for some, they have also made it possible for them to learn better, at their pace with individual attention from teachers. Some schools in low-income areas have also adopted e-learning to boost their traditional learning models.
The government of Kenya stated a program where it digitized the education syllabus in Kenya as part of a wider Digital Literacy Program by the Kenya ICT Authority. It entails pupils in all public primary schools learn courtesy of digital technologies in learning. Despite experiencing a five-year delay, the program started with 11,500 Standard One pupils receiving tablet computers. The DLP also entailed,
- Provision of digital devices for both learners and teachers.
- Capacity development for teacher and implementers
- Broadband connectivity devices
- Provision of content for digital learning.
- Establishment of local assembly for digital devices and related accessories.
- Education Apps
Education apps are also playing a big role in changing how students learn in the country. For instance, there is Kytabu which is a textbook subscription program that offers low-cost digitalized books to students in the country. With Kytabu, you can borrow textbooks pages and some chapters for some time and pay using mobile money. The eLimu app entails content that can help children learn as well as revise for their exams. There are also culturally relevant videos, animations, quizzes, games, songs and music to improve their learning.
- TV Education Channels
We are not just talking about a single program that caters to students; these are 24-hour channels that are dedicated to teaching secondary school students the various subjects examinable in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). One such channel called Elimu TV (Elimu means Education in Swahili) is a 24/7 Free to Air Digital TV broadcasting secondary education.
Over the years, transition rates from Primary school to secondary school have been less than (50%). Evidently, from 2002, at least 48% of those who sat the KCPE had access to secondary education. There were was an absorption rate of 287,248 pupils out of the 514,350 who sat the KCPE. This translated into 55.5% missing Form One places. Elimu TV seeks to bridge the gap. Elimu has hired a team of trained teachers drawn from local national secondary school, and who have done much to develop TV content for 11 subjects. There are also special programs such as Agri-Business, Entrepreneurship, and Clubs.
eLimu TV targets househelps who had to drop out of school, casual labourers, young mothers who dropped out of school, prisoners and children from poor backgrounds who had to terminate their studies for various reasons. Once they have studied on eLimu, they go ahead to register as private candidates in government –appointed centres across the country.
- New Syllabus 2-6-3-3
For 32 years now, Kenyan students have studied under the 8-4-4 system of education that would see them spend eight years in primary school, four in high school and four in University. After sometime stakeholders established that it had some weaknesses and had to be replaced. They had their way and last year the pilot of the 2-6-3-3 system was launched. It is yet to be fully taken up in some schools, but schools are working to adopt it. The new system will see the students spend two years in kindergarten, six in Primary school, three in high school and three others in University. The new system is expected to embrace technology to prepare students for the job market unlike the previous one.
2-6-3-3 will also seek to address the problem laid by the 8-4-4 system that only churned out white-collar job seekers. Roughly, Kenya requires 30,000 technologists, 90,000 technicians, and over 400,000 artisans to attain the mega projects under Vision 2030 and hence the change. There will also be practical lessons and not oral, it is entirely skills based, and Learners will not sit exams, but they will be evaluated through Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) on the skills acquired as opposed to cramming for exams as has been the case. The 2-6-3-3-3 model emphasizes on formative years of learning.
Previously scraped subjects such as home science, agriculture, creative arts (art, craft, and music) will make a comeback while moral, life skills, and health will also be included. Other inclusions are (citizenship, geography, and history) with an option of a foreign language (French, German, Chinese and Arabic).