Teachers union should back new system of learning and seek to make it better

The Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) has been rolled out and is being implemented across the country from Grade Three downwards. Teachers have been undergoing training on the new system of education even as full implementation is yet to conclude. Affected pupils, teachers, parents and other stakeholders have already hit the ground running. The train has already left the station and the 8-4-4 system of education is being phased out.

The Ministry of Education has vowed that there is no going back on what it terms digital learning and learner-centred system. Pupils are not only taught how to pass exams, but are also involved in making decisions and acquiring life skills. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and proponents of the CBC say this is the best approach to learning. Previously, the emphasis was on passing the national examinations so as to progress to the next level of education.

This, many critics of the 8-4-4 system said, created an unhealthy competition among learners and schools. This stymied education outcomes and most employers claimed there were so many half-baked graduates in the job market.

The CBC is now being implemented despite resistance from several quarters, especially from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) whose Secretary General Wilson Sossion has vehemently resisted the roll-out of the new system. But he has been flip-flopping on the issue. Initially, he claimed there was not enough stakeholder consultation, then cited lack of training among teachers, then questioned availability of resources to implement the new system. He also questioned the rationale behind CBC and the process of implementation.

This is despite evidence of stakeholder engagement including parents’ associations and educationists. Yesterday, Mr Sossion admitted that the main reason behind the union’s resistance to CBC is because of the possibility of reducing the teacher’s role in learning in the near future. How so wrong! The teacher’s role will still be critical in the new learning system and it is not possible to affect their career growth adversely. The union should now go back to the drawing board and suggest ways of improving the system of education.

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Competence Based CurriculumEducation8-4-4 systemKNUT