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Kenya Parents Association set to defend CBC in court

The National Parents Association's chairman, Nicholas Maiyo, has stated that the organization intends to join a lawsuit opposing the Competency-Based Curriculum.

On Monday, Maiyo stated that they will defend the new curriculum and that they support the system.

“Our concern is the judicial decision that could disrupt our children’s education…We will join the case as parents representing 10 million children in public primary schools,” Maiyo said.


Maiyo was speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development as part of the CBC's engagement with education stakeholders.

Last Friday, a petition filed through Advocate Nelson Havi argued that the Education Ministry's decision to implement the new curriculum is illegal and detrimental to the future of Kenyan children and should be halted.

The petitioner is seeking interim orders halting the CBC pending the hearing and determination of the case, claiming that this will prevent the government from further denial, violation, and infringement of children's rights to education and free and compulsory basic education.

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They want the Education Ministry to switch back to the 8-4-4 system.

The new curriculum is currently being phased in, with Grade 5 serving as the pilot class. Maiyo also dismissed recent parental concerns about the curriculum's implementation requirements.

“Those are not genuine parents… we are the genuine parents and we are in full support of the curriculum. Where will the seven million children in preprimary school go if the curriculum is suspended?” he posed.

The CBC's national rollout began in January 2019 with Pre-Primary I and II, as well as Grades 1, 2, and 3 in lower primary.

Last week, unhappy Kenyan parents have taken to social media to highlight the difficulties they face while assisting their children with their homework.

Parents accused CBC of being too engaging, claiming that teachers were giving students too many assignments, forcing them to intervene. Some private schools require students to bring reams of printing paper, more than ten textbooks for each subject, and other stationery. Schools in urban areas are the most affected.

KICD also defended CBC stating that the spirit of CBS is to leverage readily available materials to facilitate learning. CEO Charles Ong'ondo stated that CBC has nothing to do with students being required to bring a stack of textbooks to school.

He stated that the curriculum provides suggested learning materials, which means that teachers are expected to make rational decisions on what is required to aid learning, depending on the location of a school.

A Nairobi-based lawyer has already filed a legal challenge to the creation and implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) to replace the 8-4-4 education system.

Esther Ang'awa, a parent of a Standard Three student, claims the implementation of the CBC has economic implications for students, parents, and caregivers.

She asks the court to prevent the ministry from implementing the new education system further, claiming that the rollout violated the Basic Education Act of 2013 and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Act of 2013.


According to the parent's 69-page petition, the implementation of CBC was done in an opaque manner and is shrouded in confusion because the government failed to consult and involve all stakeholders.

Professor George Magoha, cabinet secretary for education, slammed critics of the competency-based curriculum, insisting that the new educational system is here to stay. 

Magoha defended the new curriculum and dismissed concerns that it is expensive and overburdens parents and children.

The CS acknowledged that there will be growing pains that will need to be addressed along the way but insisted there is no turning back.

"We know for sure as a government that nothing is perfect. We also know for sure that CBC is not perfect, but we also know for sure that it left the station in 2018." Magoha said.

Magoha has in the recent past been put on the spot for not allowing its officers to speak on CBC. The CS however feels that this is not necessary and dismissed the input of education experts as well as critics terming them ignorant.

The CBC has also been faulted for over engaging parents in learner's school work but top ministry officials are defending this emphasizing the need for parents to be fully engaged in education.



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