Call for regular curriculum reforms to place Africa on the competitive edge of human development

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development chief executive, Prof Charles Ong'ondo.[Denis Kibuchi,Standard]

Educationists have been called to provide tangible solutions to human capital formation that are required by students to meet the modern challenges that face society today.

The plea was floated during the ongoing African Curriculum Association Conference at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

KICD chief executive, Prof Charles Ong'ondo, noted that given a chance, people would not necessarily say they want to go to school and that's why it is incumbent upon teachers, governments and other stakeholders to identify the education needs of a people.

"The journey towards educational and curriculum development is treacherous and there are many hurdles both human and infrastructural," said Prof Ongondo, stressing that globally, the most constant reality is the need to continually reform the curricula of nations.

He said the learner today must be equipped with knowledge that prepares one for the digital age and Artificial Intelligence that is taking root in every facet of life today.

"Curriculum change is inevitable as humans get confronted by multiple problems that require solutions and as generations emerge," he said.

Prof Ongondo praised the current curriculum, the Competency-Based Curriculum saying it is based on content as opposed to the length of time as in the previous ones such as the 8-4-4.

He praised President William Ruto for saving the CBC adding that had it not been for his intervention, there were many forces that had been trying to tear it apart.

He called on participants to find common visions, processes and even regional organs to steer combined synergies in making education sustainable for all.

Ghanaian Education Minister Hon. Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum revealed the Ghanaina education system has embarked on a deliberate and elaborate strategy to make sure that science and Mathematics courses are enhanced in all levels of education.

"A developing nation cannot mismatch education needs and transformation agenda because that is the only way of putting at bay poverty that is currently ravaging our people," he said.

Presenters Dr Robert Kasisi, Roselyne Morema and Jacqueline Onyango lauded the CBC as a great way forward that disabuses the learners from expecting employment upon completing school but instead enables them to create employment and opportunities for themselves.

ACA Secretary General Gertrude Namubiru from Uganda acknowledged that for education and curriculum reforms to take place, one must engage the very top in political leadership.

"When we journeyed through changing our own curriculum it took the intervention of the Minister of Education who is also our First Lady to talk to Parliament before we made any reasonable gains in that direction," she said.

Her compatriot Florence Kiraboof Kabale University in Uganda noted that such human conflicts as civil wars, repeated deadly floods, corruption and destruction of forests are as a result of an education system that fails to instil human values in learners and consequently in the entire society.

During the opening ceremony, Education Minister Ezekiel Machogu welcomed the delegates and praised the theme, Learning for Sustainable Futures- Connections Between Curriculum Cognition and Context was timely as Kenya was undergoing implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum.

His speech was read on his behalf by the Higher Education Principal Secretary, Ms. Beatrice Inyangala who emphasised the need for education to keep tabs on the changing demands and needs of society.