The Koech Commission Report
The Commission Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya (1999) that came up With the Koech Commission Report was formed immediately after the panel on the Master Plan on Education and Training gave its report.
Consequently, the Koech Commission drew heavily from highlights of the problems in education as identiﬁed by the panel.
Koech Commission Members
Its members were:
- Davy Koech (Chairman)
- Florida Karani (Vice – Chairman)
- Hastings W.O. Okoth—Ogendo
- Filemona Indire
- Jack G. Okech
- Joseph D. Kimura
- Abdulghafur H .S. El—Busaidy
- Abdisalam S. Mohamed
- David M. Mbiti
- Ambrose A. Adongo
- George K. King’oriah
- Mwakai K. Sio
- Nicodemus Kirima
- Jasper M. Mumo
- Joel J. Ngatiari
- Jackson Kong ’ali
- Michael Ndurumo
- Nathaniel Chepkener
- Noah N. Chune
- Peter M. Kavisi
- Joan A. Okudo
- Swafiya M. Said
- Eddah W. Gachukia
- Joseph M. Mungai
- David K. Some (Joint Secretary)
- Johnson Hungu (Joint Secretary)
Strengths 8-4-4 as Identified by the Koech Commission Report
- 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.
- 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.
- The increase from seven to eight years at the primary level gives particular advantage to the girl child who completes this cycle at a minimum age of 14 years. The system provides increased opportunities for students to compete for university places compared to the narrower pre-selected A-Level cohorts of the 7-4-2-3 system of education.
Weaknesses 8-4-4 as Identified by Koech Commission
- Lack of incorporation of the pre-school circle as part and parcel of the structure.
- 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.
- The fact that many students were said to be unable to cope with the transition to the university life and learning styles.
- The mismatch between the curriculum content and the time allowed within each level.
- The hurried implementation without any prior consultations and preparation.
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Key Recommendations of the Koech Commission
In order to alleviate problems inherent in the 8-4-4 system of education, the Koech Commission came up with a system of education labeled as the Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training (TIQET). The report also came up with 558 recommendations.
Quite signiﬁcant, the Koech Commission recommended 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. Koech Report emphasized that with time, there should be no examination between primary and secondary school.
The Koech Commission 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. Listed below were other key recommendations of the Koech Report.
- Provision of a universal and compulsory basic education in which disparities posed by geographical factors, social and gender issues should be eliminated leading to equity in education at all levels.
- Expansion of opportunities at post-secondary level, so that learners can have flexibility in the pursuit of further studies.
- Introduction of modular learning approach and credit accumulation in post-secondary education, which allows for credit transfers from one institution to another.
- Introduction of limitless opportunities for access to education through expanded alternative and continuing education.
- Introduction of a manageable curriculum content at all levels of education that does not overburden the learners and teachers.
- A comprehensive legal framework that addresses previously omitted aspects of education such as the early childhood care, development and education (ECDE), special education and technical education, and which creates new agencies charged with the delivery and coordination of education services.
Debate on Educational Reforms
Koech Report was a radical document that proposed to replace the existing 8-4-4 system of education With TIQET, a concept that intended to integrate primary and secondary education into a 12-year compulsory basic education segment. The move was meant to provide every Kenyan child with an opportunity to attain the minimum of secondary education without undergoing through restrictive or selective examination procedures.
President Daniel arap Moi dismissed the Koech Commission Report as Wishful thinking, unrealistic and unworkable. However, in order to pacify some of the critics of the 8-4-4 system, the Government reduced the number of subjects but the system remained intact.
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