Address challenges in CBC implementation

Many parents will do anything to ensure that their children get a good education to equip them to cope with their future challenges. This is why they support education reforms to enhance knowledge and hone skills.

It also explains why the switch from the 8-4-4 system to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) was fully endorsed by many. However, some doubts are now emerging due to its haphazard implementation.

Parents, though ready to sacrifice for the benefit of their young ones, are reeling under the heavy burden they have to shoulder. They are not only expected to pay fees, but also to provide costly materials for practical exercises. Children whose parents cannot meet the extra costs risk being left behind.

While Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has been robustly leading the transition to the new system, many parents are accusing him of shrugging off their valid concerns about the rolling out of the CBC. Could the planned switch turn out to be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

Now, there is a new development for CS Magoha and his team to ponder. Some parents who can afford to pay for the CBC, do not seem convinced about its quality and are looking elsewhere. Thousands have withdrawn their children from the CBC and enrolled them in schools offering international syllabuses. This, as the first cohort of the CBC (Grade Six graduates) is expected to join junior secondary school early next year, which is a milestone.

Some 500 learners in the Makini Schools have, for instance, switched to the international system. These are boys and girls whose parents can afford the high fees in those private schools.

As concerns mount, some politicians are threatening to scrap the CBC and revert to the 8-4-4 system should they win the August 9 elections. While the CBC has been touted as practical and meant to hone skills, it now threatens to intensify inequality, as the poor parents cannot afford to buy the materials their children need.

The country cannot afford to go ahead and leave out the bulk of the learners from the poor families. There is a need to urgently redress the shortcomings.

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