Mudavadi's threat to scrap new syllabus has caused confusion

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi speaks during a Church Service at St Faith ACK Church, Ongata Rongai. January 30, 2022. [Courtesy, Standard]

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has threatened to scrap the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) system of education should Kenya Kwanza come to power on August 9, 2022.

According to Mr Mudavadi, the CBC was imposed on Kenyans without requisite consultations.

The Jubilee government, whose deputy president William Ruto is the undisputed leader of the Kenya Kwanza alliance, rolled out CBC six years ago, which Mudavadi now faults as “burdensome and costly” to children, teachers and parents.

Ruto is yet to reprimand Mudavadi, which implies perhaps he agrees with his sentiments on CBC. The first cohort of CBC learners will join Junior High School next year.

The government has disbursed some Sh8 billion for construction of 37,000 additional classrooms for 2.6 million children expected to joint Form One in 2023. These will be the 1.3 CBC 2022 cohort joining junior high school (Grade 7) and some 1.3 million 8-4-4 cohort joining Form One.

Needless to say, Mudavadi’s statement has triggered considerable anxiety among parents, learners, teachers and other stakeholders.

Kenya Kwanza has as realistic probability of winning, just like their arch-rivals in Azimio la Umoja.

Education CS George Magoha at Kibera Secondary School. [File, Standard]

The difference is while Azimio promises continuity of current Jubilee administration policies and programmes, Mr Mudavadi’s threat to scrap CBC represents a  drastic disruption of an entire education system with far-reaching consequences.

The threat to scrap CBC is likely to induce panic, distraction and despondency among learners and their families. It also introduces confusion at a very critical transitional phase of CBC implementation when government, teachers, parents and their children are preparing for exams that will see the children transiting to junior high school.

It is incumbent upon all stakeholders to interrogate Mudavadi’s threat to overthrow the revolutionary CBC system. The discourse must begin on a consoling note - Mudavadi is not an educationist or a social scientist equipped with competent skills or knowledge to interrogate and evaluate an education system as CBC.

If it was intended to rub their Jubilee and Azimio rivals’ nose by threatening to scrap their policies if elected, it may end there as usual political bluster. But Kenyan children are involved and may take the leader’s utterances as gospel truth and respond to it with panic, fear and despondency.

Mudavadi’s statement is rich in ignorance about the CBC and the purpose it was designed to serve. CBC was primarily designed to help identify learner’s individual gifts, talents and areas of interest for special attention and development.

CBC has placed parents at the centre of the delivery process, and this has triggered an outcry from a generation of “bewildered” parents whose own parents were not as intimately involved in the daily schooling and learning process.

Mr Mugwang’a is political analyst 

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