In 2017, Kenya embarked on the implementation of a new Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) starting with (ECD) Early Childhood Education and Primary Education as the first levels to undergo a major nationwide reform. The next step in the reform is to extend the changes to Junior Secondary Education, (JSS) which did not exist in the previous system.
As part of this curriculum reform, the Ministry of Education initiated a series of training programs for teachers. An initial evaluation of the reform's impact on primary education revealed positive outcomes in resource distribution, learners' attitudes, and teaching methods. However, the evaluation also highlighted that the quality of teaching did not yet meet the desired standards, and teachers expressed discomfort in using the new assessment tools. To address this, school leaders play a crucial role in creating an enabling environment for the effective implementation of the curriculum by providing essential pedagogical support to teachers in their schools. Unfortunately, many of these key actors lack instructional skills and have limited access to professional development opportunities.
The goal of the INCREASE project is to empower school leaders in junior secondary education with robust instructional leadership skills and enable them to organize high-quality teacher professional development at the school level. By doing so, the project aims to support the successful implementation of the competence-based curriculum and equip learners with the necessary 21st-century skills for their educational and professional futures.
The project brings together the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) as key partners in this endeavor.
The INCREASE project focuses on three main pillars to achieve its objectives:
Development and delivery of content: The project will develop comprehensive instructional school leadership and management content to facilitate the implementation of the CBC reform through capacity development trajectories.
Online Application: An online application will be developed, hosted, and moderated by the project for junior secondary school leaders. This platform will focus on instructional school leadership, providing valuable guidance for implementing the CBC reform effectively.
Gathering evidence and lessons learned: The project will document stories of change, gather lessons learned, and assess the cost-effectiveness of the app-based professional development trajectories. This evidence will inform the development of a strategy for institutionalizing blended modalities of continuous professional development (CPD) for school leaders nationwide, with a specific focus on CBC reform implementation.
The project aims to achieve the following outcomes:
Strengthened instructional leadership skills: Junior secondary school leaders and KEMI staff will enhance their capabilities in instructional leadership, enabling them to effectively steer curricular reform.
Professional Development App: KEMI will take charge of hosting and moderating the professional development app for junior secondary school leaders on instructional leadership. The app will be refined based on user experiences to ensure its effectiveness.
School-based CPD support: Junior secondary school leaders will be equipped to provide essential pedagogical support to their teachers, fostering the successful implementation of the new CBC through school-based CPD initiatives.
Evidence-based institutionalization: The Ministry of Education will have access to valuable evidence on the effectiveness of blended CPD modalities for school leaders. This will aid in the institutionalization of sustainable professional development practices across the nation, specifically tailored to support CBC reform implementation.
The programme is being implemented by VVOB Kenya for the period 2022-2026