Following the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms’ recommendation that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) reduce learning subjects, Five CBC subjects in primary school will be merged.
Home science, health education, and integrated science in primary school will be merged into one subject.
The plan threatens the current structure of learning, in which each of the three areas of study is treated as a separate subject.
The curriculum architect is also thinking of combining social studies and life skills, which are considered independent disciplines under the CBC.
Lower primary subjects will be reduced from nine to seven, upper primary from 12 to eight, junior school from 14 to nine, pre-primary to five, and senior by seven.
According to KICD CEO Charles Ong’ondo, the subjects being merged have many comparable concepts.
“Upon a critical look, we realized there are some concepts that are related, and it is one of the areas we have considered for merging so that instead of having integrated science and health education as two different subjects, we can only have integrated science,” Prof Ongondo said.
Parallel to the primary level changes, KICD is similarly contemplating merging home science and health education, channeling their content into integrated science.
The curriculum developer suggests, however, that the student choose the ninth subject based on their aptitude in that subject.
In January, students in the Junior Secondary level will be tackling 14 subjects, 12 of which are compulsory.
The KICD curriculum mandates a weekly total of 45 lessons, each lasting 40 minutes.
In addition to indigenous languages, students will have the opportunity to learn English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Health Education, Pre-Technical and Pre-Career Social Studies, Religious Studies, Business Studies, Agriculture, Life Skills, Physical Education, Sports, and Foreign Languages (German, French, and Mandarin).
A review team at KICD is currently deliberating on which subject should be rendered optional.
He disclosed that the amount of resources required would significantly impact whether topics will be made optional.
“When looking at which subject to make optional, there is also the question of resources. We are thinking of some of these learning areas which could be good but which the country is not ready to implement in all schools,” stated Ong’ondo.
Since CBC has not yet reached the senior secondary level, the changes advocated by Ong’ondo are not expected to impact the learning areas significantly.