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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya says education reforms on course despite hitches

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has accelerated implementation of broad reforms in the education sector in order to realign it with emerging social and economic dynamics in the country, officials said on Friday.

Acting cabinet secretary in the ministry of education, Fred Matiangi, said that reforms in the school curriculum that commenced this year are on course despite initial hitches.

“We have embarked on reforming our education system to ensure that learners are competitive and possess skills required in the 21st century workplace. The logistical hiccups experienced during the rollout of these reforms are being addressed by stakeholders in the sector,” Matiangi said.

He spoke in Nairobi during a meeting with regional administrators to discuss implementation of education reforms that focus on skills-based learning as opposed to theory.

Matiangi said Kenya has borrowed global best practices to reform its education sector in the light of gaping skills gap that is to blame for high levels of unemployment in the country.

“The key to successful implementation of curriculum reforms is political support which the president has given us. As a government, we are committed to an exhaustive consultative process to ensure these reforms are realized,” said Matiangi.

Kenya’s Vision 2030 roots for investments in a robust education system that is able to produce highly skilled workforce which is required to power industries of the future.

Matiangi said the new education reforms will focus on integration of digital tools in the school curriculum, continuous assessment tests, sports and development of technical skills among students.

He said that tuition-free secondary education and provision of subsidized instructional materials are part of these reforms.

“We are aiming to achieve 100 percent transition rate from primary to secondary school while provision of free textbooks to learners and abolition of examination fees will go a long way in boosting literacy levels in the country,” Matiangi said.

He added that reforms in the education system are expected to boost transparency and accountability that had been eroded in the old set-up.

Kenya is leveraging on information and communication technology as well as policy and regulatory reforms to modernize its education system against a backdrop of declining performance.

Belio Kipsang, the Principal Secretary in the ministry of education, said that curriculum reforms are expected to boost learners’ outcomes while enabling them to become self-reliant.

“These reforms will also revitalize technical and vocational training in the country and plug a shortfall in skilled workforce, “Kipsang said.

           

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