Former Director of Quality Assurance in the Ministry of Education Mr Enos Oyaya has described the recently introduced Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) as the way to go in a rapidly changing world where technology leads the way to development.
He said anybody resisting the new education system that already has been rolled out in early primary education (Standard one to three) was old fashioned and should be ignored. “We can only avoid change at our peril in a dynamic world where anything outdated must be jettisoned to cover lost ground,” cautioned Mr Oyaya at a workshop for Secondary School teachers on Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) at Egerton University, Njoro.
The five day workshop sponsored by the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) brought together 125 secondary school teachers drawn from Homa Bay, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Laikipia, Embu Kajiado and Garissa Counties Mr Oyaya said many countries had embraced the Competence Based Curriculum to match the pace of life in the 21st Century.
He said that unlike the three-decade-old 8:4:4 system where spoon feeding of learners took centre stage in teaching leaving brains to lie fallow with disastrous consequences on skills development and innovation, CBC invited an atmosphere of critical thinking, innovation and problem-solving.
The retired veteran educationist said it was regrettable that 8:4:4 initially meant to impart education for self-reliance became teacher centred, unnecessarily burdensome and did not give ample attention to flexible pathways for identifying and nurturing talent.
Addressing a similar forum in Embu that brought together 121 secondary school teachers from seven counties, Professor Gerald Kimani who teaches Curriculum Studies and Mathematics at the University of Nairobi emphasized on the effective use of learner-centered strategies in technology learning to enhance the understanding of mathematics and science.
He said technology had changed the way things are done, thanks to science and innovation. “The future lies in a digital world and our education must adapt accordingly lest we are left behind,” Prof Kimani told teachers from Busia, Machakos, Kwale, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera and Kirinyaga Counties.
In Nairobi, CEMASTEA Director Mr Stephen Njoroge said the African Union had adopted Agenda 2063 that calls for a “revolution” of education, skills and active promotion of science, technology, research and innovation. He was addressing 82 Primary School teacher trainers drawn from 14 counties.
He said achievement of vision 2030 hinged squarely on science, technology and innovation which are critical ingredients for a nation’s economic and technological take off in the modern world.
“CEMASTEA is mandated to enhance the capacity of mathematics and science teachers for effective curriculum delivery,” said Mr Njoroge describing the two disciplines as the building blocks of Technology.
He said CEMASTEA that also caters for other African countries had since the beginning of the year trained 1,100 County trainers expected to train 11,709 Mathematics and science teachers drawn from across the country.
“The teachers are taken through Project Based Learning (PBL) and ICT integration and Inquiry-Based Learning that are in-line with on-going curriculum reforms emphasizing on making learners experience science and acquire competencies to fit in the 21st-century work environment,” said the director.