Government Approves School Books for 4 Vernacular Languages

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has approved vernacular learning materials for four communities as the new curriculum is rolled out.

KICD Chief Executive Julius Jwan stated that the available learning materials are in Gikuyu, Kikamba, Dholuo and Ekegusii

He told the National Assembly’s Education committee, chaired by Julius Melly, that the available books were for Gikuyu literacy Grade 1 and 2, Kikamba literacy Grade 1, 2 and 3, Dholuo literacy Grade 2 and Ekegusii literacy Grade 1.

Matayos MP Geoffrey Odanga put Jwan to task on why there were no learning materials for the rest of Kenya's tribes.

In response, Jwan explained that only books for the four languages had been submitted so far stating: “As KICD, we only evaluate what is submitted to us.” 

[caption caption="KICD CEO Julius Jwan"][/caption]

He assured the committee that learning materials for the rest of the languages would be evaluated after submission.

Under the new curriculum, mother tongue will be taught at pre-primary level, that is, from nursery to Standard Three.

Learning the languages will, however, be optional for upper primary school pupils.

According to KICD, teaching mother tongue will help develop oral, reading and writing skills, enabling pupils to pick up other languages much faster.

“The aim of language activities at pre-primary school level is to enable learners to express themselves fluently. The purpose of teaching language at this level is to also assist learners to improve listening ability, concentration, understanding and memory,” the KICD framework read in part.

[caption caption="KICD CEO Julius Jwan with KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion"][/caption]