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EDUCATING WITH PURPOSE

CBC will right the wrongs of 8-4-4 education system

In Summary

• Unlike the new competency-based curriculum, 8-4-4 judged us collectively, not individually.

• The introduction of the CBC system of education heralds a new beginning of hope and individualised learning.

Education CS George Magoha attending a teachers' training on CBC in Kakamega High School on May 10
Education CS George Magoha attending a teachers' training on CBC in Kakamega High School on May 10
Image: COURTESY

They say if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life. Similarly, if you judge a monkey by swimming, it will lose terribly.

That is what the 8-4-4 system of education has been doing for the last 35 years. Since its inception in 1984, the 8-4-4 has harshly judged learners using unfair yardstick. I am writing out of experience. I am a victim of the rogue system and so are many Kenyans out there. The 8-4-4 curriculum will be remembered for piling pressure on learners to produce good grades. The end justified the means. As a result, we have so many graduates who cannot tie shoelaces. 

Unlike the new competency-based curriculum, 8-4-4judged us collectively, not individually. It forced subjects down our throats regardless of whether we required them in our future careers on not. In retrospect, I today find myself asking the relevance of Art and Craft that I was compelled to study in my primary school. Many other Kenyans would not lack a subject they were asked to study yet it was not going to count in choosing future careers. We studied many subjects just to pass time. What a monumental waste of resources! I know I speak for many when I say this system wasted learners. 

The introduction of the CBC system of education heralds a new beginning of hope and individualised learning. It is a learning system and not a teaching one as 8-4-4 was or is. In CBC, every learn counts. The system is geared towards unlocking and unleashing full potential in each and every learner. The learner learns to learn as opposed to expecting the teacher to teach. CBC removes the pressure to pass examinations from the learner, the teacher and even the parents, unlike the old system.

MA student, Project Planning and Management at the UoN