Implementation of the New 2-6-3-3-3 System of Education in Kenya

By Anthony M. Wanjohi:

The new 2-6-3-3-3 System of Education comes in as a relief from the overloaded and crowded current system of Education, namely 8-4-4. The new system is expected to be launched as early as May, 2017 on a pilot basis in lower primary schools in Kenya.

The system, places emphasis on Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) over one-off examinations. It is expected to be rolled out in January, 2018 covering nursery, Standard One, Two and Three.

In 2019, the system is expected to be rolled out in Standard Four to Six and in 2020 it will cover Standard Seven, Eight and Form One.

In 2021, the system will be extended to Form Two only and in the following year it will cover Form Three.

In 2023, it will be rolled out in Form Four.

The following matrix summarizes 2-6-3-3-3 System of Education implementation plan over a period of 6 years.

2017/2018 Lower Primary (Nursery, Std 1, 2 and 3)
2019 Standard 4 to 6
2020 Standard 7, 8 and Form 1
2021 Form 2
2022 Form 3
2023 Form 4

Source: Adopted from KICD, 2017

According to the provisions of National Basic Education Curriculum Framework (NBECF), the last Standard Eight candidates to sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will tackle the exam in 2019, while the last Form Four to sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination will be in 2022.

The new system replaces the current Standard One to Form Four with Grade 1 to Grade 12. The system affects the pupils who are in the class 5 in 2017.  Those in class 6 and above will not be under the new system of education (they will complete under 8-4-4 system of education).

The new system of education is categorized into three phases, namely  Early Years Education covering nursery education to Grade 3, Middle School Education covering Grade 4 to Grade 9 and Senior School covering grades 10 to 12.

The implementation of the new system of education has an implication in terms of current and future teacher training. Teachers will start being trained as early as 2017.

The new system centers on competence and skill building as opposed to the 8-4-4 examcentric system of education that was. It will focus more on Continuous Assessment of learners. The system will mark a new beginning in teaching and learning, with more activity oriented learning; with a stress on extra-curricular activities.