The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms(PWPER) on Tuesday 1 August handed over a report with its findings and recommendations to President William Ruto.
The PWPER study advocated several reforms, but we will focus on the primary school system and how it differs from the comprehensive schools proposed in the report.
The comprehensive school will be managed by a principal with three deputies, in contrast to the current system in which each primary school is overseen by a head teacher who one deputy head teacher assists.
Currently, primary schools operate eight classes within the 8-4-4 system. In contrast, Comprehensive schools encompass three educational levels: pre-primary, primary, and junior secondary.
There are currently about 223,296 teachers working in primary schools. By 2024, the total enrollment at comprehensive schools is expected to rise by more than half to 390,000.
Efforts to introduce digital literacy education at the level of primary schools fell short. However, in the next two years, the comprehensive school system plans to bring the program back and use it to facilitate the delivery of CBC curriculum.
The Ministry of Education chose which primary schools would receive infrastructure improvements and which would be given priority in development. Funding and responsibility for infrastructure development are devolved at the local level in the comprehensive school structure.
The primary school system has sit-in examinations only. The comprehensive system proposes ICT systems to enable virtual assessment in schools.
While the government provides the majority of funding for primary and secondary schools, four distinct avenues will contribute to the cost of education in comprehensive schools.
These include tuition fees for students from affluent backgrounds, increased government financial support, an annual standardized package for each school level, and collaborations through sponsorship and public-private partnerships.
The comprehensive model suggests a funding review every three years, but the primary school funding model has yet to be revised since 2003.