Review curriculum in good time, cautiously
After many months of the back-and-forth debate on the implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), the incoming government has finally agreed to set up a team that will review its implementation.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday soon after his swearing-in as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya, William Ruto promised to form a task force soon to review the curriculum and address the double intake nightmare envisaged early next year when the first set of CBC and the last set of the 8-4-4 system join secondary school.
Apparently, the education sector is staring at a major logistical nightmare in January when more than 2.5 million learners from the current Standard Eight and Grade six are admitted to Form One and the current Grade Six join Junior Secondary School (JSS) respectively. That is bound to push enrolment from the current 4.3 million to six million learners, a number that is too large for schools to handle. Although education experts at Jogoo House have consistently assured parents and learners that “adequate measures have been put in place” to a ensure seamless transition from the 8-4-4 system to CBC, realities on the ground appear to contradict them.
Since its introduction, CBC has elicited divergent views from educationists, politicians, parents and religious leaders, depending on the side of the coin one looks at it from. Whether or not the country will revert to 8-4-4 or a hybrid between 8-4-4 and CBC is now dependent on the recommendations that parents and teachers will raise during public participation to be rolled out probably next month.
Some of the drawbacks of CBC have ranged from the hasty implementation, poor training of teachers, overburdening of parents and unrealistic and expensive assignments given to learners and which require considerable input from parents and guardians. With less than two months before the first learners under CBC sit their final Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA), confusion still shrouds the criterion to be used by schools to admit learners, where JSS is supposed to be domiciled and fears over imbalance in schools infrastructure and equipment.
This is a serious concern and it is imperative that education officials shed light and provide clarity on the issues before learners sit their exams in November. It is the expectation of all Kenyans that the task force once formed, will strive to address all the gray areas to ensure buy-in and successful implementation.