KUPPET Concerned About CBC Exam Workload, Wants KNEC to Handle only 60 percent.
Experts in education have criticized the government’s implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), even as a task group continues to collect public feedback on the controversial education system.
This month, the task committee assigned by President William Ruto began touring all 47 counties to collect public and stakeholder feedback on how CBC may be improved.
Although some education professionals believe the transition from the 8-4-4 system to CBC is beneficial, others have criticized the curriculum’s implementation.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has raised concerns about the increased examination burden demanded by CBC.
Laban Ouko, chairman of the Kisii Branch of KUPPET, was concerned about the increased examination burden demanded by CBC.
He proposed that 40 percent of the examinations be conducted internally, while the Kenya National Examination Council administered the remaining 60 percent.
On Monday, stakeholders in the education sector in Kisii County shared their perspectives on the revision of the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), proposing several remedies to the curriculum’s issues.
During the public involvement exercise at Kisii University in Kisii town, Prof. Collins Odote, Team Leader for the Nyanza Region of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms, urged responders to give curriculum-altering ideas notwithstanding their criticism.
Prof. Odote asked the stakeholders to approach the issue with patriotism and sobriety, citing their constitutional right to do so, and added that the involvement of all stakeholders, irrespective of their status, was important.
Prof. John Akama, vice chancellor of Kisii University, criticized the current lack of cooperation between curriculum’s stakeholders, adding that it was resource-intensive and hence required extensive collaboration.
Akama asserted that most schools lacked the necessary infrastructure and personnel resources to implement the curriculum, and recommended that the parties involved read from the same script in order to settle the issue.
Charles Nyakundi, a representative of the local community, stated that CBC had been successful in various nations throughout the world and suggested its implementation to, among other things, address skill acquisition and the sustainability of the labor market.
Through public engagement forums, the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms has been collecting opinions from citizens in all 47 counties regarding the CBC.
The operation is anticipated to conclude on November 11, 2022.
The task force was established by President William Ruto through a gazette notice and is expected to address key issues in the curriculum, such as the technology used to deliver the curriculum, improved learning outcomes and education management, and policies and implications regarding access, among others.
Experts Criticize CBC
Appearing on Citizen TV, Former Migori Woman representative Dr Pamela Odhiambo noted several flaws, including a lack of preparation.
“The abstract idea behind CBC is not bad. However, from the onset, the question we are still asking today is about its timing. Various scholars and concerned organisations raised it. The issue was with rushing to do it without the holistic picture of what it would do to various stakeholders, the requirements. Even if we close our eyes and continue, at some point, tour children are going to ground to a halt,” said Dr Odhiambo.
Kuria Kimani, a Molo MP, concurred with Odhiambo and had an issue with what he deemed insufficient public input before introducing the new curriculum.
“The idea was brilliant, how it was done is where the problem is. Speaking of public participation, when we say we don’t want to listen to that mama mboga on the street is very dangerous because she is the one who has been doing homework for the child,” he said.
This is an excellent program, but what about its application and our level of readiness? “There is a video of children swimming in the sand since there was supposed to be a swimming lesson, but there was no pool at the school,” he continued.
According to the member of parliament, the CBC task force should provide proper recommendations for everything required to assist the rollout of the curriculum to prevent learners from being disadvantaged.
His thoughts were shared by Janet Ouko, who stated that with the commencement of the 2023-’24 school year less than two months away, secondary schools are not prepared to accept junior secondary students.
Parents are also stranded on the path forward, since they will be expected to prepare their children by January of next year, as she noted.
“We cannot wait until December to tell them we are proceeding with CBC and there are also other responsibilities that the ministry should undertake because I understand there are books that have not even been printed, and the issues of budgeting,” said Ouko.
“We expect to see a lot of preparedness otherwise January is going to be very rough for parents and learners”
Regarding the ongoing public involvement activity, Ouko deemed it pretentious, stating that it does not involve a significant portion of Kenya’s ‘ordinary’ populace in the forums.
“When you come to Nairobi and wish to speak with folks at Taifa Hall on the campus of the University of Nairobi, who are you referring to? “There has been talk that we are speaking to mama mbogas, but I’m not sure you can address millions of Nairobi residents in one meeting,” she remarked.
The exercise, according to Ouko, has been characterized by “exaggerations” of its extent.
“There are aspects of curriculum development that cannot be negotiated in a hall. Unfortunately, that is the truth. There are those pretending to want to speak to mama mbogas but curriculum development is an expert issue so we need to be told clearly what is being discussed with the people,” she said.
“You can’t draw anyone from the street, bring them to KICD. We need to be honest with the people because this is the future of our children we are dealing with,” Ouko added.
According to the letter sent to all regional education directors regarding public participation, they are required to invite key stakeholders in the education sector, such as Governors, County commissioners and other administration officers, Representatives of Primary and Secondary school heads, Trade Unions and parents’ representatives, and faith-based organizations, among others.
To achieve the six-month goal, the task force’s 49 members have been organized into ten working teams.
In the notice published in the gazette on September 29, 2022, the task group is also tasked with reviewing and recommending an acceptable financial mechanism, including capitation and minimum essential package grants for all levels of basic education.
In addition, the task group is tasked with examining and recommending a framework for operationalizing the National Open University of Kenya and a framework for Open Distance and E-line learning (ODEL).