EDUCATION

BETH KARANJA: Review CBC if it means well for pupils and country

Some of the most needed materials are unavailable in thousands of rural schools

In Summary

• Little progress has been made as the ministry grapples with systemic challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and shortage of CBC-trained teachers.

• Further, its proposal to review textbooks hardly three years into CBC is a clear indication we are not ready to implement the curriculum.

Education CS George Magoha at Hilton Hotel Nairobi during a consultative meeting between the Ministry of Education and Editors' Guild's stakeholders on the Competence-Based Curriculum on September 14, 2021.
Education CS George Magoha at Hilton Hotel Nairobi during a consultative meeting between the Ministry of Education and Editors' Guild's stakeholders on the Competence-Based Curriculum on September 14, 2021.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

The competency-0based curriculum under the 2-6-3-3 system of education was unveiled in 2017 to replace the 8-4-4 system that had been in place for 32 years.

The creators of this curriculum envisaged that at the end of the learning period, every learner should have achieved the following competences — communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, imagination and creativity, citizenship, learning to learn, self-efficacy and digital literacy.

But this will remain a mirage for millions of children in Kenya because of various reasons.

It will only be beneficial to pupils in private primary schools at the expense of those in public institution because of the deplorable state of infrastructure, digital capacity and knowledge, and the capacity of teachers to teach.

A good example are schools in the remotest of places. This is just like a joke of the day to them because of the surrounding and unavailability of the materials to make the programme practical.

For instance, it is impractical for them to handle digital literacy as many schools are not connected to the national grid.

The task force report on CBC advised the Ministry of Education on issues, policies and strategies the sector needs to address to ensure access, relevance, transition, equity and quality for effective curriculum reforms implementation.

However, so far little progress has been made as the ministry grapples with systemic challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and shortage of CBC-trained teachers. Further, its proposal to review textbooks hardly three years into CBC is a clear indication we are not ready to implement the curriculum.

Some of the most needed materials are unavailable in thousands of rural schools and the programme is likely to be a failure, if the government insists on continuing with iy without paying attention to the complaints or views by stakeholders.

If the government really means well for this country and mainly for the pupils, it needs to empower all the public schools, run civic education, train more teachers on the programme and improve on the infrastructure in the schools, most of which are in dire state.

Without this, in 15 years to come when the CBC-trained pupils will reach the job market, we will be having half-baked professionals and the government will have wasted millions in the initiative.

Education CS George Magoha and the education stakeholders should create room for dialogue with those opposed to CBC.

Beth Karanja, communication student at Maasai Mara University