Though it was a well-researched and illustrated document, the National Curriculum Policy- (NPC) 2018 was never submitted to National Assembly for approval to facilitate the smooth implementation of Competency Based Education.
Failure by Parliament to endorse the policy was the genesis of the nightmare and the curse of CBC. NPC was not captured in the Sessional Paper No.1 of 2019 as the law demands to authenticate the document.
The NPC, which had gone through the legal requirement of public publication and approved at various colloquiums, was also endorsed by then Cabinet Secretary for Education, Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang.
Their successors failed to forward the policy to Parliament for approval. Instead, through various amorphous committees, the ministry drafted insignificant, narrow and incomprehensible policy to guide the implementation of the new curriculum.
In sum, the 12 objectives in the NPC were well-structured, articulated and specific directions were given on how to address each area of implementation, including CBC content, teaching tools, assessment and transition – hence, there was no logical basis for the new managers at Jogoo House to develop new policies for CBC.
The most outstanding areas that were determined in the NPC included: establishment of flexible curriculum delivery pathways to enhance access, retention and transition, establishment of CBC for all levels of education and training, establishment of new pedagogical and andragogical approaches to implement CBC, and more importantly, mobilise resources for curriculum development and implementation.
The rejected NPC had proposed formative assessment at all levels of education and training to be institutionalised; the ministry to strengthen curriculum governance and management; enhance and strengthen Science Technology and Mathematics (STEM) in the curriculum, and more so, enhance public/private partnership in curriculum development and delivery.
In line with Kenya’s philosophy of education – “envisage to prepare the students for social cohesion, human growth, and economic development”, the NPC had proposed that the ministry should establish mechanisms for enhancing access to curriculum delivery materials; develop and implement a curriculum that is friendly to special needs education and vulnerable learners, and by extension, the ministry to provide County-specific curriculum content.
It remains a mystery why Jogoo House rejected a policy that stressed on the provision of adequate infrastructure and personnel to cater for diverse needs, abilities and talents of learners; the curriculum that identifies, nurtures talent, creativity and innovation. All-in-all, the rationale for NPC was centred on global trends in education and training where countries are shifting their focus towards programmes that encourage optimal development of human capital. Kenya needs to align itself to this paradigm shift in education.
-Mr. Sossion is an expert in education, leadership and policy