CBC is here to stay, CS Magoha says as concerns rise

Education CS Prof George Magoha when he toured Kakamega High School on September 9, 2021. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) will continue despite opposition from various stakeholders.

Prof. Magoha termed the critique of the new curriculum as “malicious”, asserting that the government is fully backing the execution of the CBC.

“Let us not allow busy bodies and politicians to divert us. Why would you think that we are not working behind the curtains to ensure that the transition is smooth?” he posed.

The CS rubbished concerns by parents that CBC books are expensive, saying that the government had already procured learning materials.

Concerns by parents, teachers and academic experts regarding the impact of the CBC continue to mount, resulting in divergent views in the process.

A section of parents claim that the new curriculum is costly, with others complaining that some learning materials are not readily available.

The new 2-6-3-3 system unveiled in 2017 to replace the 8-4-4 is yet to be fully embraced.

Responding to the concerns on Thursday, September 9, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), however, said that a review of the curriculum is underway, urging parents to be patient as the issues are being resolved.

“Let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. CBC is being implemented in phases to pave way for a smooth transition and to fix emerging issues. Parents, we have heard you,” KICD tweeted.

The agency says it has been documenting the challenging issues, and will “take appropriate interventions, including clarifying what has not accurately come out.”

The Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has said he will file a petition in court next week challenging the implementation of the CBC.

His declaration follows issues raised by stakeholders online around the logistics of the curriculum among them, designs, cost and availability of materials required for assignments.

“I have heard your cries parents, guardians and teachers. The petition challenging CBC will be filed in Court next week. The education system in Kenya should not be an expensive, inefficient and ineffective experiment with our children and their future as is our leadership,” Havi said on Wednesday, September 8.

A parent who spoke to The Standard, however, said that the curriculum is not the problem, but worried of teachers’ role in its execution.

“I have no problem with CBC. But the biggest question is are teachers well prepared? If for instance an assignment requires children to mold clay…they only tell us they need item a and b when it’s too late. Where am I expected to find said clay within an urban setting in such a short time?” one parent questioned.

The national rollout of Competency Based Curriculum started in January 2019 at Pre-Primary I and II and Grades 1, 2 and 3 in lower primary.

The pioneers moved to Grade 5 last month when schools opened for first term under the new academic calendar.

The 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum was billed as the ultimate game changer in the country’s education as it seeks to plug gaps noted under the 8-4-4 system of rote learning and cut-throat examinations.