CBC Major Concerns That Consistently Emerged During Public Review.
After ten days of public participation in implementing a competency-based curriculum (CBC), stakeholders spoke up about which problems should be kept and which should be thrown out.
Concerns like teachers not getting enough training, classrooms that aren’t good enough, parents being left out, and cultural clashes were at the top of the list when the Presidential Working Group on Education Reform went around the country to find out what people thought.
However, implementing junior secondary programs in elementary schools aroused conflicting views.
Most people who spoke up said that the government should hire more teachers to help with the heavy workload and many students.
Kahi Indimuli, the national head of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KSSHA), asked that more teachers be hired.
There is a deficit of 116,000 teachers in Kenya.
Kahi cautioned that implementing CBC will be fruitless if the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) fails to hire enough teachers.
Counties’ stakeholders were especially worried about the clash of cultures and the difference in age between junior and senior secondary school students.
In Meru County, the CBC team led by Dr. James Kanya stated that nearly all perspectives in the country are identical, but residents brought up an important cultural point.
Charles Nyaga, in charge of the Education Committee of the County Assembly of Kirinyaga, wants sign language to be added to the new curriculum as soon as possible.
County stakeholders also advocated reviving school nutrition programs to keep students in school.
In Nyandarua, Governor Moses Badilisha stated that given the young age of sixth-grade students, they needed time to mature physically.
Maina Ngunyi, the Deputy County Commissioner of Wundanyi, said that parents still need to keep a close eye on their young children and keep them away from older people who might expose them to drugs.
A learner in grade 6 at Wagatuigu Primary School was afraid to go to boarding school in grade 7 because he was too young to keep up with the older students.
Patrick Chungane, the head of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) in Kakamega County, said that some students still wet the bed and must stay in the day school setting.
In Nakuru, stakeholders said that CBC doesn’t live up to their hopes and needs to be improved for it to work.
Professor Henry Kiplagat, the vice chancellor of Kabarak University, said that the curriculum would be cheaper if the government built schools.
He said that the government’s top goals should be to help kids and keep schools from getting too crowded.
In addition, Kiplagat stated that schools require furniture, equipment, technology, curricular materials, and textbooks.
Also, the VC said that teachers must have the right qualifications and tools to deal with children and students under the new curriculum.
“Teachers are ill-equipped to handle students, and they should be trained. The government must provide and incorporate affordable, reasonable, and accessible teaching methods,” he said.
However, he proposed that elementary school teachers be permitted to teach junior high school pupils and that classrooms be established in primary schools.
According to him, primary school teachers are better equipped to handle students aged 11 to 13 than secondary school teachers, who are accustomed to working with adolescents.
The VC said that the curriculum is expensive and complicated for students who come from low-income families.
Cost of education
Stakeholders in Nyanza have said that the high cost of education is a major concern in meeting the goals of the CBC.
Representatives from teacher unions said schools didn’t have the infrastructure to keep running the program and that students at special schools were wholly ignored.
Joyce Orioki, a spokeswoman for KSSHA in Kisii County and the principal of Nyabururu Girls, said stakeholders should be given time to agree on the important issues raised.
“The Ministry of Education should be detached from boarding issues. School should be given a chance to negotiate with parents on how to manage the boarding section,” said Orioki.
Grade 6 learners at Nyamage Primary School in Kisii Central said that some of their parents couldn’t afford to buy the raw materials they needed to do their homework because it was too expensive.
Professor John Akama, vice chancellor of Kisii University, stated that the curriculum was resource-intensive.
Officials from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said that teachers in Homa Bay County were harassed, so they wouldn’t tell the government the truth about when and how to implement the CBC.
KNUT Secretary Patrick Were, Homa Bay Executive Secretary Cornel Ojuok, and Eliud Ombori, who works for Rachuonyo, all said that not admitting the truth had made it hard to implement the curriculum.
“CBC has numerous issues but it is unfortunate that any teacher who tried, to tell the truth, received intimidation and all manner of threats including interdiction. We are glad that President William Ruto’s government has given us the opportunity, to tell the truth about this curriculum,” Were said.
“Our position is that the CBC should be suspended as soon as possible until the President makes a determination on whether to scrap it or continue with it. As it is today, it is causing harm to teachers, parents, and pupils,” Were said.
According to him, teachers must be more effectively prepared to implement the curriculum.
“Teachers who are implementing the curriculum in the primary schools are doing so because the employer directed them to do so, but they were not adequately trained for it,” he added.
Mr. Meshack Okech, the head of the Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA) in Migori, said that the parents felt the same way and asked the government to pay for the teaching materials.
“The teaching and learning process is so expensive, and we ask parents to provide learning materials,” Mr. Oketch said.
Samuel Orwa, who is in charge of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) chapter in Migori, said they have never been thoroughly trained in CBC.
“Apart from four days’ orientation to the CBC, we have not had anyone reach out to secondary schools. We have no effective training of teachers,” Orwa said.
Locals of Mandera encouraged the government to train more local teachers.
According to speakers, the county needs 1,866 teachers, with 1,385 required in public primary schools and 481 in senior schools.
“We don’t have enough teachers in our schools. The few we have are not even trained to teach CBC,” stated a teacher.
Poor internet connectivity, according to locals, led many parents to travel great distances in search of assistance.
Simon Kachapin, the governor of West Pokot, has called for an education system that is both affordable and of high quality to meet the requirements and growing trends in the education sector.
System was rushed
Governor of Bomet Hilary Barchock attributed the system’s hasty implementation to a complete disregard for concerns raised by stakeholders.
“CBC is a system operating like a beheaded chicken that escaped from the slaughter and is running around. The teachers do not know what they are teaching,” Barchock said.
Mutula Kilonzo Junior, the governor of Makueni, said parents and students still don’t know CBC’s goals, and it needs to be reorganized.
CBC’s Major Concerns were expressed regarding formative and summative assessments and national examinations.
Participants concurred that formative assessment had raised exam workloads.
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) was urged to set clear student evaluation rules.
David Waititu, the founder of Rockfield’s Junior Schools, proposed the development of a standardized examination to ensure that all students in the nation are evaluated uniformly.
“Examinations should be structured so that bringing back multiple choices is going back to the 8-4-4 system, which was full of guesswork,” Waititu said.
Prof. Stephen Kiama, the vice chancellor of the University of Nairobi, urged the government to do its job and fully fund higher education institutions and research.
The professor asked the government to help colleges and universities deal with financial problems.
Kiama said that the government could pick courses with a shortage, such as medical or engineering, and offer learners grants while allowing them to take out loans for courses with a surplus.
Melvin Thogo, the leader of the University of Nairobi Students Council, advised the government against merging the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) and Universities Fund, stating that the move would not solve the financial issues affecting universities.