Magoha insists CBC rollout in Grade Four off to good start

Evaline Ogesa teaches Grade Four pupils at Shauri Yako Primary School in Homa Bay town, yesterday. [James Omoro, Standard]
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha maintains that the rollout of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) for Grade Four has been successful across the country.

Prof Magoha said the government has purchased and distributed textbooks and other learning materials to support the new curriculum to almost all public primary schools.

He was speaking yesterday at Kakamega Primary School after overseeing the rollout of CBC in Grade Four in primary schools in Vihiga, Kakamega, Nandi and Siaya counties.

“We have had a few hiccups in distribution of Grade Four text books especially to far flung areas due to poor road network and the heavy downpour that has been pounding several parts of the country but we have swiftly sorted out that issue,” said the CS.

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He assured that they will be hitting the 100 per cent mark in books distribution by end of Friday. 

“I have had impromptu visits to several public primary schools during my Western region tour. I want to applaud teachers for showing commitment and resilience in ensuring this dream comes to fruition,” said Magoha.

He admitted that they are experiencing infrastructural challenges ranging from inadequate classrooms, desks and chairs in most schools due to the high number of pupils transiting to Grade Four.

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Magoha assured the government has put in place elaborate measures that will see the problem sorted.

He reiterated that the implementation of CBC for pre-primary 1 and 2, Grades One, Two and Three was going on smoothly

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“Training of more teachers for the smooth implementation of the CBC curriculum across the country is ongoing. We are stopping at nothing until such a time we shall have fully transformed the education sector in line with the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030,” the CS said.

Disciplinary action

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) trained 106,320 teachers in December last year in preparation for the roll out of CBC in Grade Four. A total of 18,000 teachers were from private primary schools and 7,000 special needs education teachers.

However, Magoha warned head teachers against sending pupils home for lunch or tuition fees, saying primary education is free and every child has a right to access basic education.

“During my impromptu visit to a school in Khwisero Sub County, I discovered the head teacher had sent pupils home to bring lunch fee and that’s unacceptable including sending them away for lack of a school uniform,” he said.

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He added: “The teacher went into hiding immediately I arrived at the school. I have instructed my education officers including those from TSC to look for that teacher and take disciplinary action against him.”

A spot check by the Saturday Standard in several schools within the Kakamega Municipality showed that all public primary schools had received text books.

“We didn’t have enough texts for the implementation of the CBC curriculum when we closed the school last year but I want to report that the government has supplied us with enough books in the ration of 1:1. Each pupil has a text book and this has made learning easier,” said Dickson Wanyama, Kakamega Primary School headteacher.

Mr Wanyama said the government has also trained 30 teachers on implementation of CBC and the training will be ongoing during the holidays, saying the rollout has been smooth and they have not experienced any hiccups.

His sentiments were echoed by Fesbeth Academy deputy headteacher, Gregory Ochieng, saying all the 85 teachers in the school have been trained on the CBC.

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Level of interaction

“We have those trained by TSC and the rest were trained by the Kenya Private Schools Association. We shall continue having such training to help the government in the delivery of the curriculum,” said Mr Ochieng.

On Grade Four text books, despite the government not distributing them to private schools, they passed that burden to the parents who complied promptly and pupils have all the required books.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has that maintained the government is resolute in ensuring the CBC roll out is successful through a raft of measures put in place. Dr Kipsang said the government will ensure the learner to text book ratio is maintained at one to one and the content and quality of the learning materials meets the expectation of the set standards.

Speaking yesterday at Kipkaren Primary School in Uasin Gishu County after inspecting the progress of CBC Grade Four roll out, the PS said he was excited about the way learners and the facilitators (teachers) were interacting.

“Books are an integral part of CBC success because children are required to work in groups thus each learner should have a book at a particular subject to accommodate those that are slow learners,” he said.

He said it would be difficult for learners to grasp the contents if they are sharing textbooks. “For Grade Four, we have distributed over 14.5 million books for all subjects and we are proud that as a country, we have achieved the one to one book ratio with 80 million books having been distributed for both primary and secondary schools,” said the PS.

Contrasting

He noted that as part of the preparation for successful roll out of Grade Four curriculum, more than 200,000 teachers have been trained, an indication that the government was adequately prepared.

“We are at the tail end of preparation in readiness of Grade Five next and Sixth Grade a year after because we need adequate time for the roll out of the curriculum. We are also finalising curriculum and design in readiness to for Diploma teacher training beginning September this year,” he said.

The PS while contrasting the mode of teaching between the new and the old curriculum noted that the level of interaction as espoused by the CBC curriculum cannot be gainsaid.

“During my rounds in the classrooms I could see a teacher who was adequately prepared to teach and I was worried because some of us who were teachers at one time if we go back to class and teach by adopting our old ways, the learners will throw us out because things have changed,” he stated.

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George MagohaCompetency-Based CurriculumGrade Four