Third Eye

Fix CBCs frailties before it’s too late

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 00:47 | By
Education CS George Magoha witnesses CBC assessment tests at Joytown School for the Physically Disabled in Thika recently. PHOTO/Courtesy

Ever since the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) was introduced, there has been a lot of discomfort among education stakeholders on its aptness. Right from piloting, questions were raised over the implementation matrix, with opponents of the system saying the country was not prepared for it. 

The questions range from inadequate teacher training and preparedness to schools reaching crisis levels over high enrolment.

The Ministry of Education, however, rolled out CBC nationally in 2017 with assurance it will help each learner unlock their full potential.

The ministry has not looked back on implementing CBC and with the appointment of Prof George Magoha as the Cabinet Minister, he was categorical the ‘train had left the station’ and that CBC ‘was here to stay’.

Today, the implementation is in Grade Six but a majority are still not convinced on what is to become of the system. Doubt and fear is especially high for parents of the pioneer class of CBC, which is to move to Junior Secondary School (JSS) next year.

The questions notwithstanding, the government has insisted that it is fully prepared for this course.  One of the major issues raised with CBC is that it requires heavy investment in infrastructure and resources, most especially for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pathways.

The infrastructure challenge heat is real, even before JSS, domiciled in secondary schools kicks off. For instance, secondary schools are already using classrooms constructed for Grade 7 because of the high enrolment of learners to secondary schools, which stands at over 1 million this year.

The double intake next year, for learners who sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) under the 8-4-4 system and Grade Six taking the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) in December is another dreadful experience.

Almost two million learners will be transitioning to secondary school and there is concern on the ability of the current secondary school system to accommodate them.  As this huge number transitions, it should not be lost on us that secondary education is a critical component in the career paths of young learners in the country.

Time is running out and the government should move with speed to address challenges surrounding CBC implementation, failure to which the country runs the risk of being ill-prepared.

There is time to fix the system but the clock is ticking. All stakeholders should be on the same page so that these hiccups can be addressed with finality. Do not gamble with the future of our children.

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