By Alfred Nyakinda

Education stakeholders were advised to ensure that the ongoing curriculum review process is learner-centered.

Prof Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha, Chairman of the Commission for University Education, Kenya at the National Education Conference

“Any reform that is not informed on the basis of the good opportunities that will be availed to the learner is not good reform,” Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha, the Chairman of the Commission for University Education told stakeholders attending the National Education Conference in Nairobi this week.

“We must always take into consideration the interest of the learner, in terms of what is it that the learner is able to get from the education system.”

Chacha told the meeting hosted by the Aga Khan University’s (AKU) Institute for Educational Development that the review process is inevitable, cautioning them against exerting their influence to the process, at the expense of the pupils and students who need the education as a base for their careers and vocations.

The conference brought together around 100 policy makers, teachers, and education stakeholders to discuss relevant issues affecting education in East Africa.

The Chairman further called on stakeholders within the East African region to work together in promoting quality teaching and learning so as to improve the socio-economic development in the region.

“We do believe that the education system will enhance the togetherness – the economic bloc that we are building – through the East African community can be enhanced by the way we conduct business in classrooms and the people we produce from our schools and from our institutions including our universities,” he said.

The conference theme was Maximizing Educational Change: Research, Policy, Leadership, Technology and Curriculum. It featured workshops and the presentation of academic papers examining a variety of issues affecting the education sector.

Prof Joe Lugalla, Director of the Institute for Educational Development East Africa, Aga Khan University gives his welcome address

Prof Joe Lugalla, Director of the Institute of Educational Development, East Africa, said that the work done in academic institutions can only bring impact if they engage policy planners and education stakeholders. He added that only then only then is it possible to influence education policies in East Africa.

“What kind of socialization agenda, whether it’s in the home, the community, in the school, will put us on a different path?” asked Dr Kofi Marfo, Director of the Institute of Human Development, AKU, “so that in addition to our wonderful curricula that is providing all the cognition we can have, we’ll create a different society in which we understand that there is something called a common good – and each one of us has a role to play in the development of that common good.”

This year, the conference focused on maximizing change in education that will provide every Kenyan learner with world-class standards in the skills and knowledge that they need and deserve to thrive in the 21st century.