The 8-4-4 system of education was launched in January 1985. It was designed to provide eight years of primary education, four years of secondary, and four years of university education. Emphasis was placed on Mathematics, English, and vocational subjects. The proponents of the 8-4-4 education system had a vision. The vocational component of the system for instance was aimed at preparing students who would not continue on with secondary education, those who would be self-employed, and those who would be seeking employment in the non-formal sector. However, the implementation of the system did not meet its very vision. This article presents a critical review of the system.
The emphasis of education in Kenya lies in the very national goals of education. These include the following:
- Fostering nationalism, patriotism and promoting national unity
- Promoting social, economic, technological and industrial needs for national development
- Promoting individual development and self-fulfillment
- Promote sound moral and religious values
- Promote social equality and Responsibility
- Promote respect for and development of Kenya’s rich and varied cultures
- Promote international consciousness and foster positive attitude towards other nations
- Promote positive attitudes towards good health and environmental protection.
Currently learners take two major exams in their eighth class in Primary School section and again on their fourth class in Secondary School Section that’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education(KCPE) and Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education(KCSE) respectively.