Education Commissions in Kenya – The Koech Commission

The commision Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya (1999) that came up with the Koech Report was formed immediately after the panel on the Master Plan on Educationand Training gave its report. Consequently, the Koech report drew heavily from highlights of the problems in education as identified by the panel.

Strengths of 8-4-4 as identified by the Koech Report

  1. Practical subjects introduced the children to life skills and laid the foundation for skills development. Those subjects also oriented pupils towards the dignity of manual work.
  2. An additional year at the primary level provided pupils with adequate time to mature since the majority end their formal schooling at the primary education level.
  3. The increase from seven to eight yeasr at the primary level gives particular advantage to the girls child who completes this cycle at the minimum of 14 years. The system provides increased opportunities for students to compete for the university places compared to the narrow pre-selected A-Level cohorts of the 7-4-2-3 system of education.

Weaknesses of 8-4-4 as identified by the Koech Commission

  1. Lack of incorporation of the pre-school circle as part and parcel of the structure.
  2. The loss of the two years of the higher secondary level that was said to rob the students of the opportunity to mature before entering the universities.
  3. The fact that many students were said to be unable to cope with the transition to the university life and learning styles.
  4. The mismatch between the curriculum content and the time allowed within each level.
  5. The hurried implementation without any prior consultations and preparation.

Key Recommendations of the Koech Commission

To alleviate problems inherent in the 8-4-4 system of education, the Koech Report came up with a system of education labelled as the Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training (TIQET). The report also came up with 558 recommendations.

The Koech commission recommende the replacement of the 8-4-4 system of education with TIQET. Basically Koech Report recommended for expansion of compulsory basic education from eight years to 12 years. It meant secondary education was to be part of basic education. The report emphasied that with time, there should be no examination between primary and secondary school.

The report recommended reduction of subjects offered at secondary level, a move it noted would enhance quality at that level and also make the curriculum manageable. However, the report introduced a pre-university level that would prepare secondary school leavers for university and thus enhance the quality of university entrants.

Other Key Recommendations of the Koech Commission

  1. Provision of a universal and compulsory basic education in which disparties posrf by geographical factors, social and gender issues should be eliminated leading to equity in education at all levels.
  2. Expansion of opportunities at post-secondary level, so that learners can have flevibility in the pursuit of further studies.
  3. Introduction of modular learning approach and credit accumulation in post-secondary education, which allows for credit transfers from one institution to another.
  4. Introduction of limitless opportunities for access to education through expanded alternative and continuing education.
  5. Introduction of a management curriculum content at all levels of education that does not overburden the learners and teachers.
  6. A comprehensive legal framework that addresses previously omitted aspects of education such as the early chhildhood care, development and education (ECDE), special education and technical education, and which creates new agencies charged with the delivery and coordination of education- Credit Soft Kenya dot com