Why CBC Cannot be Scrapped
An education expert asserts that the competency-based curriculum cannot be scrapped.
Several stakeholders argue that, rather than scrapping CBC, the government should address the concerns of parents and schoolteachers.
The executive director of Usawa Agenda, Emmanuel Manyasa, has requested that the government address the possibility that the six-year-old curriculum would be scrapped.
Manyasa stated that the curriculum’s implementation has already involved six processes involving students, parents, teachers, and finances.
He noted that CBC is preferable to 8-4-4, and Kenya cannot return to that format as we have already transitioned from an examination-based to a competency-based education system.
He stated that the government of President William Ruto should hire additional teachers, as promised in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
“CBC is more involving and it requires more teachers compared to what we have currently,” he added.
The Ministry of Education reports that over eight million students are enrolled in CBC.
Eliminating CBC would throw the future of eight million students into chaos.
In a recent interview with the Star, Charles Ongondo, CEO of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, compared overturning CBC to abolishing the 2010 Constitution.
He cautioned that reversing CBC would be expensive because the government has already invested much in modernizing even the teacher training colleges.
Ongondo said that the country would incur expenses due to the efforts of several parties to abolish the CBC.
Ongondo warned that reversing CBC is equivalent to dismantling the standard gauge railway, “We will lose more than Sh200 billion in CBC investments.”
The Sh200 billion was spent on classrooms, books, the employment of teachers, curricular resources, and curriculum designs.
By the 5th of September, the ministry had built 9,850 classrooms for CBC nationwide.
The director of KICD stated that the government rolled out CBC after conducting extensive stakeholder discussions in response to the creativity, imagination, and digital literacy needs of the 21st century.
“If we scrap CBC, it’s like saying we go back and stop thinking about the digital world; it is like saying we go back to the knowledge-based era of recalling without the ability to demonstrate what has been learned,” he said.
Lawrence Nyakweba, principal of Dagoretti High School, cautioned that CBC should not be eliminated; rather, the task team should examine the obstacles.
The principal stated that CBC is a nice idea, but like any other initiative, it has teething problems.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha stated that it would be difficult to scrap the new curriculum, given the government’s substantial investment.
According to Magoha, the government can only improve certain curriculum areas.
“There is never a vacuum in government and with 10 million children under CBC, no government is even going to consider removing the curriculum.”
“They will basically just try to improve it by trying to make it better in certain aspects,” Magoha said.
Magoha emphasized that any efforts to dismantle the CBC could fail due to learners’ widespread adoption of the system.
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In addition, the CS stated that the transition of sixth graders to junior secondary would be simple because their instructors’ preparation is complete.
“We have trained Grade 7 and 8 teachers. Grade 9 students will be trained in January 2023 by the incoming government,” Magoha said.