President Uhuru Kenyatta today told parents to stop putting unnecessary pressure on their children over degrees and examinations and instead focus on nurturing talents of the learners under the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
He said the new curriculum offers the greatest promise for Kenyan children and allows the learners to develop their inherent talents and abilities.
“We put too much pressure on children to pass examinations and to acquire university degrees. Our children have no opportunity to grow as children,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State spoke at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre( KICC) when he presided over the official opening of the 3rd National Conference on Curriculum Reforms.
He said every child has a talent and the role of parents is to bring that talent out and nurture it.
“Let’s work together to nurture skills and develop talents of our children,” the President told parents as he cautioned them against imposing careers on children especially such courses as medicine “even when a child cannot stand the sight of blood”.
He said parents routinely fail to recognize the potential of the learners even when their children would have become great musicians and artists.
“We should prepare our children to be the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the future,” said the President said in reference to the two American founders of technology giants Microsoft and Apple respectively.
The President said the pressure exerted by parents on children to pass examinations and acquire university degrees was largely to blame for the rising cases of drug abuse, depression and criminality among students.
“It is disappointing to see high levels of drug abuse, criminality and children without hope who end up as dependants of their parents,” he said.
The Head of State observed that the full roll out of the new curriculum will catalyse a major transformation in the education system and take care of all learners irrespective of their capabilities.
“All learners, including those with special needs, will be provided with an opportunity to excel in their areas of ability and interest,” the President said adding that curriculum reforms are hinged on a comprehensive value-based approach.
He said Kenya has no choice but to align itself with the fast-paced growth of the global economy and rapid shift in technology by ensuring its workforce acquire relevant skills for the modern workplace, locally and internationally.
“The reforms are necessary if we are to ensure we have quality education that provides learners with the relevant competencies to become competitive in the global workforce,” the President said.
Touching on the progress of the curriculum rollout, the President said the government was set to implement the Grade 4 segment next year and applauded the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for training a total of 113,223 teachers from public and private schools on the new curriculum.
He challenged the Ministry of Education and TSC to maintain the training momentum saying, “teachers should be our great warriors to reshape our curriculum”.
Before today’s conference, the Ministry of Education held education quality dialogues in all the 47 counties besides holding another 11 sector-based pre-conferences that gave a wide range of stake-holders an opportunity to give feedback on the new curriculum.
Prominent Ghanian Scholar and Deputy Minister for Basic and Secondary Education Dr Yaw. O Adutwum was the key note speaker at the conference also addressed by Prof. Magoha and the chief executive officer of TSC Nancy Macharia among others.