6-6-3 proposed to replace 8-4-4
Kenya’s education system could be changed from 8-4-4 to 6-6-3 if proposals by a government team are adopted.
Under the envisaged structure, pupils will spend six years in primary schools and sit a national examination at the end before joining secondary schools for another six years.
Students will then proceed to universities where they will spend three years pursuing degree programmes, having specialised in particular courses at the secondary school level.
The Task Force on the Re-alignment of Education Sector to the Constitution says the “6-6-3 (system) has provided quality education and training in countries ranked highly and have accelerated development”.
According to the report of the taskforce, the 6-6-3 system of education will allow learners to choose areas of specialisation and develop them early enough unlike the current 8-4-4.
“The proposed system of education will encourage high level of specialisation geared towards attainment of Vision 2030 goals of industrialisation and entrepreneurship,” it says.
The system will also improve competencies, skills and innovation for the world of work, says the taskforce that is chaired by former Moi University Vice-Chancellor Douglas Odhiambo.
If adopted, the change will be the third after the 1985 switch from a 7-4-2-3 system to the 8-4-4 one following recommendations by a presidential commission.
Critics of the 8-4-4 arrangement argue that it is steeped in rote learning where learners are taught to pass examinations instead of going through a holistic education.
In reviewing the 7-4-2-3 system, the presidential commission had noted that it had created academics and theoreticians who depended on white collar jobs.
The rationale behind the 8-4-4 system was, therefore, to offer practical education, thereby produce self-reliant graduates.
The taskforce has also recommended that the free primary and day secondary school education money that the government provides be increased. A primary school pupil under the proposal will be allocated Sh2,371, up from Sh1,020 per year, while those in the day secondary schools will get Sh30,766, up from Sh10,260 a year.