Editorial Note

Prof. Jennifer Wanjiku khamasi, PhD, EBS


In the past one week, educators in Kenya and particularly those with interest in curriculum and pedagogy were treated to sad news (See Friday, December 13 and 14, 2018, Daily Nation).  Sad in the sense that something seemed to have gone wrong in the ways in which piloting of a new curriculum was implemented.  I belong to an interest group that has developed interest in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, 2017). The framework outlines what the new school curriculum in Kenya will be like.  I therefore was saddened by the fact that, the curriculum development process might stall; and/or the proposed curriculum might never be realized.  A sadness that is informed by the expectations that embrace me; because for the last two years, I have been looking forward to the launch of the many facets of the curriculum framework, particularly the teacher education component.  A time when all graduates of schools of education and teachers training colleges will comfortably talk of their readiness to implement new curriculum. 

In summary, all the papers presented in this Volume highlight some of the changes that the proposed curriculum need to include and/or take cognizance of.  Paper I talks of the teaching and learning infrastructure; Paper II of the need for parents to get involved in their children’s learning process; Paper III proposes a change in the ways learners in early grades are introduced to reading; Paper IV touches on issues of fairness and justice at the family and community level; Paper V is on significance of play in early childhood education; Paper VI emphases on the need to prepare teachers with competencies that will allow them to effectively teach the proposed Life Skills subject; and lastly we have Paper VII which reminds us that learning at times can be a cause for depression among learners in higher learning experience .  In the following section, I highlight what each chapter entails. 

David Maboko Nassiuma in the paper entitled Issues in Incentive Administration: A Panacea for Development of Multiple Intelligences in Secondary Schools in Kenya reports on a study undertaken in selected schools in Keiyo South sub-county.  Using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory and the Management Competency Framework, Nassiuma aimed at identifying students’ perception of their varied abilities as well as finding out if the schools’ reward system nurtures multiple intelligences. The respondents of the study included 14 head teachers, 42 teachers and 280 pupils.  The findings reveal that the schools had no planned activities aimed at developing multiple intelligences in school and consequently lacked a reward system aimed at nurturing the development of multiple intelligences. The paper gives a number of recommendations.

In Paper II, Carren Cherono Sang and Anne Syomwene investigated parental involvement in children’s home learning activities in Early Childhood Education in Nakuru County in Kenya.  The study was informed by Epstein’s theory of overlapping spheres of influence and used mixed methods approach.  The findings show that most parents in the study site assisted their children with homework particularly in reading and writing activities.

Paper III reports on the findings of a study by Agnes Chepchumba, Alice Limo, and Rachel Koross in Keiyo sub-County, in Kenya.  The authors examined the ability of a learner to recognize familiar words in Standard One and assessed the influence of familiar word recognition on the performance of English Reading in Standard One.  The study elicited a number of findings and recommends that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) need to develop computer programs that provide Pre- schools with correct letter sound models.

Land is a valued resource in all ethnic groups in Kenya; to the extent that women in most of the communities are discriminated against when it comes to inheriting land from their parents.  Paper IV talks about Gender Disparities in Land Inheritance among the Samor Community in Baringo County, Kenya.  In this paper, Sarah Chelimo takes readers through the challenges faced by women in the Samor community and highlights the need to ensure gender policies are understood by all opinion leaders particularly those involved in enacting inheritance laws. 

Paper V is a concept paper speaking on the Significance of Play in Early Childhood Education Curriculum.  Anne Syomwene and Marcella Mwaka explores definitions and characteristics of play, objectives of early childhood education, theories of play, types of play, the role of the teacher in children’s play and the contribution of play in children’s holistic development.  The paper outlines ways in which significant others in children’s lives can support play. 

In paper VI, Mary M. Waiganjo and Maina W. Mwangi, in the paper entitled Relevance of Life Skills Education in Preparing Kenyan Youth for National Development justifies why Life Skills Education is a much needed part of the proposed curriculum reforms in Kenya.  The authors recommend that the Government of Kenya needs to retrain the teachers with teaching approaches that are appropriate to Life Skills Education and empower the schools with adequate teaching resources in the subject area. 

The last chapter is a paper talking about Depression Coping Strategies among University Medical Students in Kenya.  Irene J. Chesire and co-authors in a mixed methods study worked with a sample of 312 students with the aim of finding out their depression coping strategies and how they utilized mental health services in their campuses.  The findings show that majority of the students hardly seek mental health services in their campuses but instead rely on peers, or use alcohol and/or engage in sporting activities as coping strategies.  The authors recommend a variety of approaches that medical education and mental health stakeholders can use to assist students. 



Daily Nation (Thursday, December 13, 2018).  Uproar after ministry suspends new system. 

Daily Nation (Friday, December 14, 2018).  Amina’s stand on new curriculum counters report.