The global trends in education have changed a great deal. The world needs a system of education which must respond to the emerging social needs, technological development and economic demands of the workplace. Tthe government, being aware of this, carried out reviews of the 8-4-4 system. The reviews done in 1992, 1995 and 2002 majorly addressed the curriculum content, unnecessary overlaps and other emerging issues. But they could not address fundamental issues that would transform the society into a middle income economy.
The 2012 report by the Professor Douglas Odhiambo-led task force on Re-alignment of the education sector to the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which was formed by the government, informed the development of a Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2015 on reforming education and training in Kenya. The paper recommended a radical change of the education system to provide for the development of individual learner’s potential in a holistic and integrated manner. The system should be able to produce intellectually, emotionally and physically balanced citizens. This is what led to the recommendation of a Competency Based Curriculum to, among other things, identify and nurture talents; introduce national values; cohesion and integration, and having three learning pathways at the senior secondary level.
The 8-4-4 system had been evaluated and different reports released, indicating that the system was more academic and examination-oriented with more workload for learners and teachers. In fact, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development carried out a summative evaluation and released their report in 2008, pointing at those shortcomings. Therefore, the issue being raised that there was no research done to inform the change is malicious and misleading.
What education stakeholders should do is to change their attitude, embrace the system and build on it as it is being implemented. The roll-out of the CBC started in January for early years education. It will be progressively implemented in stages in line with the Basic Education Curriculum Framework 2017 as requirements such as infrastructure in schools, knowledge and skills development of teachers and learning resources, are being addressed by the government.
Learners in PP1 and PP2, Grade 1,2 and 3 are currently under the new system of education, 2-6-3-3-3. It beats the logic of reasoning to say that the system should be stopped. A wise thought is to look at where the challenges are and address them urgently. Even Rome was not built in a day. There will be no other time that everyone will agree that now all things are in place, let’s roll out the system.