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Uhuru praises CBC at the United Nations General Assembly

By Patrick Vidija | September 23rd 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he visited Westlands Primary School before the Global Education Summit. [PSCU,Standard]

President Kenyatta has mounted praises over the Competence-Based Curriculum-CBC at the United General Assembly.

In a pre-recorded speech at the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Uhuru said the current CBC will play a key role in boosting competitiveness of workforce.

“Kenya is, blessed with a youthful, well-educated, and productive population that has managed to build one of the most vibrant mixed economies in Africa,” Uhuru said.

He added: “We are implementing ambitious programmes to prepare the country to produce decent and rewarding jobs. Our investments in roads, air and port infrastructure, and critical health care facilities throughout the country, are the most extensive and ambitious in our history.

We have also delivered a national competency-based curriculum and on universal access to schooling, which will further boost competitiveness of our workforce.”

Uhuru’s sentiments come even at the Education Ministry lead by CS George Magoha prepare to battle with lawyers in court over the implementation of the curriculum.

Magoha has enlisted the services of lawyer Phillip Murgor to defend Competency-Based Curriculum while his Interior counterpart Fred Matiang’i has instructed Fred Ngatia to defend the ministry in the case filed by lawyer Esther Ang’awa.

Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki will be represented by Immanuel Bitta, while Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is relying on John Mbaluto.

In a precursor of what to expect, Ngatia and Murgor opposed an application by Ang’awa’s lawyer, Nelson Havi, to allow interested parties to join the case without a formal application.

At the same time, they asked the court to decline Havi’s other prayer to send the file to Chief Justice Martha Koome to empanel a bench to hear the case without hearing the parties.

However,  the CBC is not opposed by all Kenyans.

CBC was introduced through basic education curriculum framework 2017, and Sessional Paper no 1 of 2019 on the policy framework for reforming education and training for sustainable development.

According to Angáwa, CBC is not superior to 8-4-4, adding that it does not cater to the needs of the country.  The 8-4-4  system was introduced in 1985.

She argues that CBC cannot stand without amending Basic Education Act no 4 of 2013.

She further says that overhauling the 8-4-4 system is illegal and vague as it converts primary schools to secondary schools without a clear-cut transition process.

Although touted as the most ideal education system in the country, parents have raised concerns and cried out on how the curriculum has rendered them sleepless.

The parents said they do not only find the CBC expensive but also cumbersome to the learners.

“It is quite a struggle keeping up with this new curriculum. There are many textbooks required. This system should have been made affordable given the hard economic times parents are going through,” one of the parents in a previous interview.

But Magoha said the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) will continue despite the opposition.

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.

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