Raised Brow on CBC?

According to a published post by the local dailies parents, teachers and academic experts have raised diverse opinions on the impact of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

By Constance Ndeleko

From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. And early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and later in life hence the introduction of CBC in Kenya.

The new 2-6-3-3 system was unveiled in 2017 to replace the 8-4-4 which is yet to be fully embraced. Today, CBC is part of the national discourse and it has been the eye of the storm since inception in 2019.

What is the progress?

Recent reports indicate that the CBC has:

  • Brought forth pupil’s full potential while encouraging aspects of creativity and nurturing talents.
  • A an activity and outcome-oriented the model helps learners discover a lot on their own as teachers guide them
  • It has led to an increase in the enrollment of new
  • The new system encourages the assessment of learners, and has made parents more involved in their children’s education.
  • CBC helps children learn new things every day. It is demanding, especially to the teachers, but it is the right place to be.
  • The National Parents Association Chairperson Nicholas Maiyo says, “CBC is a good match for children, adding that teachers should only demand locally available materials.” (Standard Media)

Contrary, in a recent publish by the Standard Media, “Realistically, CBC is a noble concept that seemingly took off on a false note as some of the stakeholders have pointed out. The false start is attributed to the hurried manner in which the rollout was made, specifically before teachers could be adequately trained and teaching resources made readily available. Two years later, there are many who believe we are groping in the dark and are beginning to question the new curriculum’s relevance. But that shouldn’t be the case. 

Former Secretary-General of Kenya National Union of Teachers Wilson Sossion has consistently argued that there was no adequate consultation before the CBC rollout, and even after the rollout. Emerging public concerns and the seemingly haphazard manner in which teachers are implementing CBC appear to vindicate Mr Sossion’s contention.

The grey areas and bone of contention revolve around lack of consultation, teacher training, teaching resources and expansion of infrastructurehe concluded.

What are the qualms?

  • Parents say pupils’ workload too heavy and materials expensive
  • Lack of adequate resources, including classrooms and enough trained teachers, are some challenges that the Ministry of Education should address to ensure that CBC benefits all children.
  • The outcome-oriented curriculum demands more space and more activity books that some parents might not afford. The syllabus requires at least five workbooks for each student.
  • Some parent term the curriculum as very costly. CBC requires too many materials and is complex for illiterate parents.
  • Children are also burdened with a lot of assignments that they do not have free time at home.
  • Some schools have been accused of going overboard, asking parents to buy expensive books and giving expensive assignments as an easy way out for the ill-equipped teachers.
  • The disparity between rural and urban schools in the use of computers is an area of concern that should be addressed.

“Prof James ole Kiyiapi, a senior lecturer at the University of Eldoret and former Education Permanent Secretary, faults CBC for failing to achieve its intended objective. Kiyiapi said, CBC is overwhelming to pupils and blames it on the lack of training of teachers. He further elaborated that children were being given too much work contrary to the educational reforms that they were to gain from. Prof James ole Kiyiapi recommended that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) reviews the curriculum and makes it child-friendly, child-driven and focused. KICD should understand the spirit of the reforms and the underlying principles of the reforms. Once that is done, CBC should be a major reform in Kenya.”

Early experiences have a great impact on children’s development and investing in parent education can alter these experiences for the better, and lead to the development of successful adults.

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