Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has proposed that learners should not be forced to join the senior secondary schools under the new curriculum.
In his proposal, the number of years it is mandatory for children to attend school reduces to nine, from the current 12.
“There is no reason to keep learners in pathways through to Grade 12 if they don’t want to continue. At the age of 15 you should give learners a chance to choose what they really want,” Magoha said.
It would mean that learners are not compelled to continue with formal education past Grade 9 which is the equivalent of the current Form 2 under the 8-4-4 education system.
Grade 9 is the last year of junior secondary under the 2-6-6-3 system.
However, those who opt out of school will join vocational and technical institutions where they can pursue vocational skills.
“A child might not be bright in classwork but they might be good with hands-on skills. I don’t see the reason the learners should be put in class longer,” Magoha said.
The CS was addressing a workshop with members of the National Assembly Education Committee and ministry officials meant to find a road-map on the implementation of the new curriculum.
With the curriculum set to be rolled out in Grade 4 next year, the ministry is still puzzling with a series of issues among them the place of the junior secondary in the new curriculum and the cost of implementation.
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