A viral video of two Kenyan primary school students slaughtering a chicken has sparked outrage over the country’s new curriculum, which focuses more on practical skills.
In an open-air lesson for 11-year-olds on how to kill and cook a chicken, one boy slaughtered the bird while another held it tightly.
Some curious classmates celebrated the episode as the teacher, who was filming the episode with a cell phone, encouraged the boy to behead the chicken and told other Pupils to grab the body to put it near the boiling water.
The boy let go of the headless chicken to the pan, but the chicken flapped it’s wings, and ran away. The 19-second clip ends with the teacher laughing and the headless chicken still running as the children shout as they follow it.
When a chicken is slaughtered, it can walk for several minutes because there is oxygen left in the spinal cord circuit for a short time.
It is very likely that these grade six Learners will remember the incident for long.
The video caused an uproar on social media and many were concerned about the safety of the children, but as in rural Kenya, the suffering of chickens is common, even if no one raises the issue.
Since the beginning of primary school, they have been guinea pigs for the new curriculum and over the past few years have experienced many different practical projects, from making snowballs to selling goods at the market.
Proponents of competency-based curriculum say Learners are better prepared for 21st-century jobs by changing outdated theories of life and exam-based systems.
It also claimed that cheating in exams, which is a major problem for the government, will reduce due to continuous assessment.
1.25 million Grade 6 learners will take the exam as part of the Kenya School Leaving Certificate, which determines entry into secondary school. For the first time, the exam will only contribute 40% to the final score, as the assessment score will make the rest.
Parents are not happy with the cost of the new curriculum, as the school asks them to provide materials and money required for learning.
A science teacher at Kangundo Primary School in eastern Kenya says Pupils from low-income families are sometimes forced to look at the experiments of others.
There are very impressive results for overhauling the education system. Much needs to be done to expand resources and train teachers before the system is fully adopted, ” Mbewi told the BBC.
“I just hope we can stop the politicization of education and do the right thing for children to get a quality education.”
The fate of the new curriculum now rests with the task force who have six months to fully assess.