KICD calls for quality focus in course material production

Friday, February 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Prof Charles Ochieng’ Ong’ondo, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development director during an interview in Nairob. Photo/PD/FILE

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) yesterday urged publishers to focus on quality as they fast track production of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) course materials.

KICD said that publishers are being trained on the requirements for Grade 6 course materials for CBC ahead of submission of the curriculum support materials for evaluation.

The training that attracted over 150 publishers, was meant to enhance quality of course materials submitted for evaluation in addition to keeping them up to speed on the need to uphold integrity during the exercise.

KICD Director, Prof Charles Ong’ondo said the course materials submitted for approval will be evaluated against the curriculum designs to ensure publishers align the content in the books with what teachers are expected to teach.

 “We want publishers to correctly interpret the curriculum designs so that they develop course materials that speak to the designs.

When an error is detected in a book, it is KICD that takes the blame,” Prof. Charles Ong’ondo said during the official opening of the event at Bible Translation and Literacy Centre, in Kiambu.

The content of the training includes lessons on the need for the publishers to conform to the curriculum when developing the course materials, learning activities to be covered in the materials, skills and concepts development, and promoting value based education.

Community service learning

He said that publishers should also be aware of how to incorporate pertinent and contemporary issues and community service learning as provided for in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework, how to handle digital materials, placement of age appropriate illustrations and layout issues and guaranteeing grammar and editorial excellence.

Ong’ondo urged publishers to stick to deadlines set for submitting the course materials for approval to ensure they are evaluated in May, so that the books can be ready for use when learners join Grade Six.

“This is Covid-19 period and we shall not have any other time to evaluate due to revised school calendar.

The books will not be eligible for purchase by the government if they are not ready on time,” Ong’ondo said.  

Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) Chairman Lawrence Njagi said his members are ready to put in extra time to deliver the CBC course books on time and appealed to the director to guarantee a free, fair and verifiable evaluation process.

“A level playing field guarantees will see both losers and winners congratulate each other,” Njagi said.

He explained that the Kenyan publishing industry has significantly grow  over time and is recognized regionally for its unrivalled performance and publishers have no excuse to compromise on quality.

“We have the interests of the learners at heart and as the market leaders in the region, we are not ready to relinquish that position,” Njagi said.

Ong’ondo assured the publishers that the evaluation process will be above board and all players will have an equal chance of competing for the business opportunities.

He said the Institute will undertake due diligence that include checking the publishers’ tax compliance status and any form of conflict of interest before allowing one to bid for the development of course materials.

School calendar changes

The CBC is being implemented in phases from PP1, PP2 and Grade 1-4 with the current pioneers expected to join Grade 5 in July 26 owing  to changes in the school calendar, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined the CBC journey, even as formed a State Deparment to steer smooth implementation of the new system.

The President said time has come to design a fit for purpose education system that responds to challenges the country has been facing over time.

“Given that the challenges of our times calls us to respond using our education system, we can only succeed through designing and implementing a fit for purpose education system,” said the President.

Schools have up to Grade 4 designs while those of Grade 5 will be available by the time schools open in July.

Similarly, over 200,000 tutors have already been trained on how to teach subjects under CBC in collaboration with KICD, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya National Examinations Council.

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