National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi blocks debate on motion to scrap CBC.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has barred lawmakers from debating a petition by nominated MP Wilson Sossion to repeal the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Allowing MPs to debate the issue, he claims, will jeopardize the fair determination of related proceedings now pending in the High Court.
“My considered opinion remains that the conduct of a parallel process in Parliament to consider a petition in which the substantive prayer sought is similar to the prayer sought in a matter filed in court would definitely prejudice the outcome of the matter in court,” Mr Muturi said.
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Mr Muturi, on the other hand, has warned that if the court takes too long to decide the matter, which he describes as of grave concern to the public, Parliament will step in and propose an education system that it deems appropriate.
Mr. Sossion, in a petition presented to the parliament last week on behalf of parents and education stakeholders, wants the National Assembly to abandon the implementation of CBC, claiming that citizens were not invited to provide feedback before the system was implemented.
Mr Muturi, on the other hand, pointed out that when a disagreement arises between citizens and the Executive over the propriety of a policy decision or its consequences, only the Judiciary can resolve it definitively.
“The Constitution places legislation within the exclusive authority of Parliament. Conversely, the petition presented by the member seeks to stay or stop the implementation of a policy adopted by the Executive on the manner in which it intends to fulfil its constitutional mandate of providing free and compulsory basic education,” Mr Muturi ruled.
Many parents and other stakeholders complain that CBC requires too much work and expense for parents, with many of them lacking time and money to contribute to the system's success.
The CBC program is currently facing a legal stumbling block after High Court advocate Esther Ang'awa filed a petition in court challenging its implementation.
Ang'waya claimed that CBC has imposed a financial burden on children, teachers, parents, and caregivers. Her argument is that changing the 8-4-4 system is illegal and ambiguous because it converts a primary school into a secondary institution without a clear transition process.
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. The 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum was billed as a game-changer in the country's education system as it seeks to fill gaps identified by the 8-4-4 system. It has yet to be fully accepted.
Some parents believe the program was rushed through without public participation from all stakeholders, and others believe it does not promise a bright future for students.
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.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on its part has promised to address some of the concerns raised by parents about the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
KICD said 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.
Despite the raging debate over the curriculum, Education Secretary Prof George Magoha has dismissed CBC critics, claiming that the program, which began in 2018, is being implemented by “very competent technocrats.”
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