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Why parents are skeptical about CBC taskforce


Officials of the National Parents Association led by the national chairman Silas David Obuhatsa when they addressed the media on October 2, 2022. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

The National Parents Association has cried foul over exclusion from the Education Reforms Taskforce formed to review the Competency-Based Curriculum.

The association said it would not consider any recommendations as views from parents.

National chairman David Obuhatsa stated that the inclusion of people in higher education would not add the desired value compared to what those in basic education would have.

"We went through the composition of the task force that was gazetted on September 30, but it is quite unfortunate that none of our officials is a member," Obuhatsa stated.

According to the gazette notice, the task force which will be chaired by Prof Raphael Munavu will among other things evaluate the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The task force has also been tasked to assess and recommend an appropriate structure to implement the CBC system as well as study laws governing the basic education subsector.

The gazette notice further stated that the task force will study, assess and make recommendations on conceptualisation and implementation of key tenets guiding the competency-based approach.

"This includes but not limited to value-based education, community service learning, parental empowerment and engagement, the assessment and examination framework and the quality assurance and standards framework," read the notice.

National Parents Association Secretary General Eskimos Kobia wondered how the task force will meet the expectations of parents yet majority were lecturers.

"We have seen lecturers and vice chancellors in the task force. What do they know about basic education? Let them handle issues bedeviling tertiary institutions and leave basic education affairs to primary and high school teachers," said Kobia.

Obuhatsa noted that one of the key terms of reference for the task force is parental empowerment and engagement, and wondered how this will be achieved without the input of parents.

During his visit to Homa Bay County on Sunday, President William Ruto said the 42-member task force will streamline the system to fit the demands of parents.

"I formed a special task force to look into the CBC curriculum so that the curriculum can help our children and also alleviate the burden of the curriculum on parents," he stated.

"I hear parents are doing homework until 2am so we will reduce the homework burden on parents," Dr Ruto stated.

The task force, which has also been assigned seven secretaries, will study laws governing basic education and make recommendations for review.

It aims to address duplication, ambiguities, efficiency, constraints and improve linkages.

Kobia appealed to Ruto to at least appoint two of the association's officials to the task force, adding that his team will meet parents' representatives in two weeks' time to collect views and make recommendations to the taskforce.

"We shall be making recommendations on CBC because we feel that it was poorly designed and also poorly implemented. This will only be if our representatives are co-opted to the committee," he stated.

Kobia said the time frame given to the task force is unrealistic.

"Its recommendations will be out by April 2023 when KPSEA learners are set to sit their exams. Teachers don't know if they will be preparing learners for the exams or they will have to wait,'' he added.

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