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Why the CBC is here to Stay

The Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is the new curriculum that is gradually phasing out the 8-4-4 system in schools and has been in existence for six years.

The new curriculum has divided the opinions of many a parent with criticism being vented on the system due to being expensive and quite involving.

However, experts have suggested that instead of scrapping the CBC from existence and returning to the 8-4-4 system, the government should address the concerns raised by various stakeholders of education to ensure that everything is done to satisfy all parties.

The executive director of Usawa Agenda, Emanuel Manyasa has implored the government to address the possibility of the six-year-old CBC being scrapped.

According to Manyasa, the implementation of the curriculum has already involved six processes where parents, learners, teachers and financiers have played a part.

He said that the CBC is preferable to the 8-4-4 system and the country should not return to the outgoing system.

He highlighted the importance of transitioning from an exam-based system to a competency-based education system.

Manyasa said that the new regime should recruit more teachers as promised in the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto.

“The CBC is more involving and it requires more teachers compared to what we have currently,” said Manyasa.

According to the Ministry of Education, more than 8 Million learners have enrolled in the CBC meaning doing away with the CBC will put the futures of those learners at risk.

In a recent interview with the media, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that abolishing the CBC is similar to abolishing the 2010 Constitution.

Ong’ondo called on the government to be cautious with reversing the CBC as it would be expensive because the government has already invested a lot in modernizing the teacher training colleges.

According to Ong’ondo, the country would incur expenses due to the efforts of several parties to abolish the CBC.

“We will lose more than Kshs. 200 billion in investments made in the CBC,” said Ong’ondo.

The Kshs. 200 billion he quoted has been spent on classrooms, books, employment of teachers, curricular resources and curriculum designs.

As of the 5th of September, the Ministry of Education had built 9,850 classrooms for the CBC across the country.

The KICD Director said that the government launched the CBC after conducting extensive stakeholder discussions in response to the creativity, imagination and digital literacy needs of this century.

“If we scrap the CBC, it is 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, the principal of Dagoretti High School also chipped in with his support for the CBC saying it should not be scrapped but rather the task force should work on the obstacles.

Nyakweba said that the CBC is a great idea but like any other initiative, it has teething problems.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha said that it would be difficult to scrap the new curriculum, given that the government’s substantial investment.

According to CS Magoha, the government can only improve certain areas in the curriculum.

“There is never a vacuum in government and with 10 million children under the 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,” said CS Magoha.

Magoha emphasized that any efforts to dismantle the CBC will not succeed due to the learner’s widespread adoption of the system.

Regarding the looming double transition of learners, CS Magoha revealed that the transition of grade 6 learners 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,” said CS Magoha.

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