President William Ruto was reported to have opposed a recommendation to drop pre-technical subjects in school, arguing that the courses lay a basis for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Ruto received the report at State House on Thursday, December 1, and engaged the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform tasked with reviewing the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
While addressing the team, Ruto inclined more toward supporting the pre-technical subjects, underlining that they were critical in enabling the implementation of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
Insiders close to the presidency detailed that according to Ruto, the skills gained would be integral in hiring TVET diploma holders and extending employment opportunities amid a struggling unemployment crisis in the country.
Pre-Technical Studies were anchored on the Economic pillar of Kenya Vision 2030 with an emphasis on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) in the school curriculum.
Ruto also urged the CBC task force to coordinate with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and reduce the workload on learners, especially those in Grades 1 to 6.
He further underlined that most stakeholders supported CBC but advocated for swift changes to enhance its efficiency, according to a report by Nation.
"86 per cent decided or proposed that children in Grade 6 should move to Grade 7 but Junior Secondary School (JSS) be domiciled with primary schools," the head of state pointed.
The task force also reportedly recommended merging lessons that were overlapping.
Currently, the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BCEF) under the Competency-based Curriculum (CBC) has 12 core and optional subjects.
Core subjects were English, Kiswahili or Kenya Sign Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Home Science, Pre-tech and Pre-career education, Social Studies, Religious Education, Business Studies, Agriculture, Life Skills and Sports and Physical education.
Learners were, however, expected to select one or two optional subjects from Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Computer Science and a Foreign Language (German, French, Mandarin, Arabic, Kenya Sign Language or Indigenous language).
Core technical subjects in CBC included Community Service Learning, Physical Education and Information Communication Technology (ICT) at Upper Primary and Junior Secondary levels.
Some of the optional pre-tech subjects introduced into the curriculum were Garment Making and Interior Design, Home Management, Culinary Arts, Plumbing and Ceramics, Welding and Fabrication,
Others were Animal Keeping, Building Construction, Photography, Graphic Designing and Animation, Carpentry and Joinery, Metalwork, Electronic and Printing Technology and Crop Production.
Speaking moments after Principal Secretaries (PSs) were sworn into office on the next day, Friday, December 2, Ruto pleaded with parents and caregivers to support their children and oversee their progress.
He even lamented that he had encountered pressure from his daughter to help her with assignments every evening.
"Parents we must know that the education of our children is not the entire responsibility of teachers. It is ours as well," he urged.
The head of state expected the Ministry of Education to ensure a fast process in the synergy and seamless transition of children under CBC.