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Kenya accelerates curriculum reforms to bridge skills gap 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan ministry of education has embarked on comprehensive overhaul of school curriculum to make it relevant to evolving needs of the society and markets, officials said on Thursday

Cabinet Secretary for education Fred Matiangi said the new curriculum that will be piloted in 470 primary schools later this year will lay emphasis on technical and soft skills that a learner requires to survive in a highly competitive job market.

“We have already set up structures after receiving funding from the treasury to hasten reforms in the current schools’ curriculum. These reforms are key to boost human resources capacity in the country,” Matiangi told a forum in Nairobi.

The minister added that Kenya has borrowed international best practices to accelerate reforms in the education sector and make it responsive to the needs of the market.

“The new curriculum at all levels of learning starting from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions should also focus on development of 21st century skills like ICT,” said Matiangi.

He added the reformed curriculum will focus on development of technical skills, innovation, sports and soft skills that will help the youth cope with life’s challenges.

“We need to pay special attention to skills that can enable our youth fit in the job market. Vocational training, extra-curricular activities like sports, music and arts are critical to solve endemic joblessness,” Matiangi said.

Stakeholders in Kenya’s education sector have endorsed a roadmap to guide implementation of curriculum reforms from 2018 to 2023.

The Director, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Dr Julius Jwan said competence based learning as opposed to passing of one off examinations will be the hallmark of new school curriculum.

“For the first time, Kenya will be experimenting with an education system that is not examinations oriented but rather endeavor to help a child acquire foundational skills like numeracy, literacy, creativity and sporting prowess,” said Jwan.

He disclosed that training of teachers who will be in charge of implementing the new schools curriculum has already begun.

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