CEMASTEA is a public institution under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology whose core mandate is to build the capacity of teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The institution focuses in training teachers on effective teaching & learning classroom practices not only in Kenya but also in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently, the institution is conducting an online Teacher Professional development (TPD) course for Mathematics and Science teachers from 18th to 29th October, 2021 throughout the country. Prior to the training, teachers had submitted to CEMASTEA their phone numbers and e-mail addresses through their respective schools to aid in the planning of the training. The theme of the training is ‘Enhancing teachers’ competences in remote learning techniques for effective teaching and learning of mathematics and science’.
The training covers three units;
Unit 1: Use of Microsoft Teams and Google classrooms (Part 1: Microsoft Teams and Part 2: The Google classroom) in teaching & learning
Unit 2: Use of ICT tools including virtual laboratories, Simulations and Animations in teaching STEM subjects
Unit 3: Overview of Kenya’s Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and its implications to classroom instruction
The training is intended to achieve the following amongst the participants;
- Demonstrate ability to use Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom for teaching and learning of mathematics and science.
- Demonstrate ability to use virtual laboratories and animations in teaching and learning of selected topics in mathematics and science.
- Demonstrate understanding of Competency Based Curriculum for ease of implementation
- Appreciate the use of a variety of ICT tools in online lesson delivery and the importance of Teacher Professional Development.
In Unit 3 the key area emphasized is Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) which is learner centered and links with most learning theories and instructional methodologies. In CBC, competencies drive the outcomes. Competency based instruction measures what is learned as opposed to what teachers think they have taught. Moreover, learning is measured according to how well the learner performs in relation to competencies. There is a shift from the current teacher-centered approach to learner-centered approach in teaching & learning.
Another critical area covered is on assessment, Competency Based Assessment (CBA). This is the process of determining the capability of a learner to apply a set of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to successfully perform tasks. It connects evaluation with instructional programs by informing teachers of a learner’s progress and learning challenges. CBA is a learner centered approach to evaluating and documenting student progress through; Classroom observations; Checklists; Portfolios; Journals; Written tests, Oral or Aural Questions, Learner’s Profile and Anecdotal Records. It is a form of direct measurement where teachers are assessing precisely what they teach.
The Competency Based Curriculum was rolled out in Kenyan primary schools in 2017. It is expected that the first CBC primary school graduates will join Junior Secondary School in 2023. The secondary school teachers need to be prepared for this group of learners, hence the need for induction on CBC.
The genesis of current CBC in Kenya is Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2015 on “Reforming Education and Training in Kenya” and it is based on the 2012 Report of the Task Force on the Re-alignment of the Education Sector to the Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The Recommendations of the Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2015 is that there is need for;
- a reformed curriculum that adopts a competency-based approach
- Flexible education pathways (at senior school level) that identifies and nurtures a learner’s potential.
- Introduction of national values and their integration into the curriculum.
- A national learning assessment system
Various stakeholders in education have given various reasons for curriculum reforms. The rationale for curriculum reforms is based on the following areas;
Global standards, which focuses on;
- Aligning reforms to Sustainable Development Goals No 4 which emphasizes on quality education and Goal No 5 which emphasizes on Equality.
- East African Community Protocol
- Education for All
- UNESCO IBE which proposes curriculum review every 5 years
- Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA)
Constitution of Kenya 2010
- Article 53 (1) (b) states, that every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education
- Article 10, National values and principles of governance
The Kenya Vision 2030
- Integrating early childhood into primary education
- Reforming secondary curricula
- modernizing teacher training
8-4-4 Summative Evaluation Challenges
- It is argued that 8-4-4 system of education is academic and examination oriented
- assessment is limited to summative assessment (assessment of learning) instead of assessment for learning
- does not provide flexible education pathways